Breen to defend Sanremo victory in Fiesta Rally2

Craig Breen will drive a Ford Fiesta Rally2 in competition for the first time on next weekend's Italian classic

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Craig Breen will take on Rally Sanremo, the second round of the Italian Rally Championship, in a Ford Fiesta Rally2 as a warm-up event for Rally Croatia.

With a two-month gap between World Rally Championship rounds in Sweden and Croatia, Breen will use the event as a chance to stay sharp for the first asphalt round of the WRC season.

Sanremo, which takes place on April 9-10, has been a fruitful rally for Breen in the past as he won the event in both 2019 and 2021 at the wheel of a Škoda Fabia R5 and Hyundai i20 R5 respectively.

“I’m really happy to say that we’ll be back at Rally Sanremo again this year,” said Breen.

“It’s a rally that I’ve really enjoyed in the past. We’ve managed to win it the last two occasions, so I couldn’t miss it again this year.

“Obviously it’s been a while out of the competition since Rally Sweden so, with Croatia coming forward, Sanremo presented a good opportunity to come back into competition again.”

Breen will not be joined by his regular co-driver Paul Nagle for the event. Instead, he’s pairing up with John Rowan, with whom he finished on the podium of Finnish national championship round Itäralli in 2020.

“I’m really looking forward to it, going out with the Fiesta Rally2 for the first time, with John Rowan on the notes, only our second rally together. So I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do there and we’ll do everything we can to make it through there.”

It’s not the first time this year an M-Sport driver has turned to national rallying to prepare for WRC rounds this year.

Gus Greensmith finished fifth on Numedalsrally, a round of the Norwegian national championship, in preparation for Rally Sweden later on that February.

Adrien Fourmaux will also compete in this weekend’s Rally of Nations Guanajuato in Mexico.