Early indications are that M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will be able to resume its Monte Carlo Rally testing following Craig Breen’s crash on Wednesday morning.
The Irishman clipped a bridge and rolled down a bank on a road close to Gap. The team is now employing a crane with a winch to retrieve the car from the bottom of a ravine.
M-Sport team principal Richard Millener told DirtFish: “We’re working hard to get the car back to the road right now – it’s gone a fairly long way down. From what I’m told from the guys out there, we’re looking to get the car fixed and testing again. I think it’s probably fair to say we won’t be running again today though.
“It’s a shame. Craig’s paid a big price for what looks to have been a small mistake. He clipped a wall and damaged a wheel, on another day we’d have fixed the corner and been right back out there. As it was, the road and bank dropped away steeply and once the car started to roll it went to the bottom. Ultimately though, the initial impact was in a really slow-speed corner.
“The priority is to get the car running straight – there’s a fair bit of carbon fiber in these cars now, so it might not look pretty, but as long as it drives straight we’ll continue. We’ve still got Gus [Greensmith] and Sébastien [Loeb] to run in the test and we want to give them the mileage.”
Millener spoke to Breen shortly after the crash.
It’s tough, but you have to put these things out of your head and get on with it. That’s what he’ll doRichard Millener
“He’s disappointed and frustrated at the fact that he’s missing the rest of his test day,” said Millener. “On the upside, Craig’s had a decent amount of time in the car testing and I certainly don’t see this impacting on his potential in the rally.
“These things happen. It’s tough, it’s the first time he’s crashed in [testing in] 13 years, but you have to put these things out of your head and get on with it. That’s what he’ll do.
“When you’re running a test with four drivers, there’s always the risk for something like this. Adrien [Fourmaux] had a good day on Tuesday. Now we focus on the rest of the week.”
Greensmith was scheduled to run on Thursday. His day could be bumped to Friday, providing M-Sport can get road closures in place in time. Saturday is off limits, with the drivers and co-drivers heading to Salzburg for the WRC launch at Red Bull’s Hangar-7.
Loeb is set to run on Sunday, with the recce for Monte Carlo starting on Monday morning.