Craig Breen doesn’t feel he was doing anything stupid when he crashed on the fourth stage of Rally Estonia.
The M-Sport driver had targeted Estonia as a rally that could yield his best result of the season, but nine miles onto the 13-mile Raanista test, he went wide at a left-hand corner, running off the road and into the grass.
“[I’m] disappointed obviously. This is one of our rallies to shine,” Breen explained to DirtFish. “So for sure, there’s more to be done.
“From a chassis side, I was really happy with the car. I felt confident, I was enjoying the drive.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve made a mistake on any of these kinds of rallies and it was very, very unfortunate I would say.
“We were very unlucky. It wasn’t like I was braking 100 meters too late or something stupid like that. I was just a fraction too wide.
“If that concrete post wasn’t there, we would have probably reversed out and away we went. So that’s the way it is.”
Upon exiting the car, Breen discovered the concrete post lurking within the grass. It couldn’t be seen from the road, but it still caused enough damage to the car that it prevented Breen from continuing.
“As I fell off the road, that concrete thing was just laying in the grass, hidden in the grass.
“So I just rolled over that and that’s what’s broken it.
“[We] need to wait until we get the car back but I imagine it’s broken the steering arm or something like that.
“The damper and everything all looks intact. So yeah, a rally like this we don’t carry so much spare parts in the car obviously for the weight, and normally we don’t break these things. It’s a pity.”
M-Sport team principal Richard Millener also backed Breen’s comments that he hadn’t attempted anything wild heading into the corner, highlighting that on the Estonian stages, being a fraction wide can have severe consequences.
“He was pushing as hard as he can to keep with the top guys,” said Millener.
“I’ve always thought this rally is one of those ones where if you’re not pushing over the limit then you are not going to be at the top of the leaderboard.
“It’s the same every year. He was going incredibly well and it was such a shame to see just such a little slide off on the road, it’s damaged the suspension and that’s put paid to the end of the day really.
“He’s saying it’s absolutely minimal. Like half a meter off line.
“But you get on the loose which builds as each car goes past because they’re throwing it into that area of the road and then you’re just a passenger.”