Hyundai driver Craig Breen is targeting a rally win and an immediate return to a full World Rally Championship program in 2024.
The Irishman, back with the Alzenau-based team after a troubled 2022 with M-Sport Ford, is expecting his campaign to include at least half the rounds aboard an i20 N Rally1. That campaign starts with next month’s Rally Sweden – Dani Sordo takes the third factory Hyundai at next week’s Monte Carlo season-opener.
Asked about his objectives for the year ahead, Breen told DirtFish: “I desperately want to win a rally. It’s the one thing that’s missing; it’s the one thing I’d desperately like to make happen.
“I’ve done podiums now, I’ve done it on all surfaces. I’ve sampled sort of all the nice things in the world championship, but there’s just one… I’ll say two [including a world championship] but one is realistic for this year: winning an event.
“Obviously with a partial season we’ll have a good road position for the events that we’ll be doing and we’ll just have to make the most of it, try and get familiar and get used to the car as soon as we can and get back to where we were last on the podium in 2021.”
Breen departed Hyundai on the back of podiums in Estonia, Ypres and Finland. While he began his time in a Ford with third place in Monte Carlo and returned to the podium four rallies later in Sardinia, the second half of last season was a tough time for Breen and not one he’s overly keen to reflect on in any depth.
While his season with M-Sport didn’t play out the way he wanted, it gave him the taste for a full program. He wants more of that now.
He added: “That goes without saying. I definitely want to get back to a full-time program, I still think we have enough to deliver.
“I think that, had fortunes been different last year, we could’ve… ifs, buts and maybes but I really do think we had good speed on a lot of rallies to do a good job and ultimately that wasn’t to be.
“I definitely do feel there’s unfinished business, but this is the program for the moment, this is the target and if things go right and things go the way that I would like them to, I obviously want to put the team in a position that it’s a no-brainer to have me in the car full-time [in 2024].
“That’s a tough task but that’s what we want to try and do.”