Breen trying to be “realistic” about Sweden result

Hyundai returnee had hoped for better

Craig Breen

Craig Breen says he is trying to be “realistic” about what he achieved on his return to World Rally Championship with Hyundai for Rally Sweden.

Breen had not initially been included in Hyundai’s 2020 WRC line-up, after a few outings with the team during 2019.

But following the Monte Carlo Rally the team announced that he was being recalled for Sweden in place of Sébastien Loeb – a move it indicated was to take advantage of a potentially good road position that Breen could claim.

The unusual conditions made that less advantageous, though, and Breen ended up seventh – hampered by the shorter route giving him less time to get back up to speed after his WRC absence.

“I suppose we’ve done the job that we were asked to do which was to come here and try and support the two guys [Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville],” he said.

“Personally I’m not so happy with how the whole thing unfolded.

“I’d have liked to have been a bit closer but I guess it was a strange rally in a way.”

Breen was just 0.6s behind pre-event championship leader Neuville at the end of Friday’s stages, but then lost time to his team-mate on Saturday and ultimately finished 27s adrift.

“We had a good road position for three stages and we had to do something very quickly to keep at the front,” Breen added.

“Unfortunately I lost a bit of time early on on Friday, and obviously running close to the front of the road [on Saturday] we didn’t really have any chance to gain time back.

“But still, the speed was good at times.

“We were able to match Thierry at times and Ott so I have to be realistic with that.

“I’m not in the car a lot at all, I hadn’t sat in the car since GB last year so I have to be somewhat happy and content with how the speed was.”

It’s currently unclear if or when Breen will get another WRC chance, but he is remaining in the Hyundai fold to contest the European Rally Championship in an i20 with MRF tires.