What Breen needs to do in Italy

The M-Sport driver admits he's lacking some experience compared to his rivals


Craig Breen’s full-time return to the World Rally Championship got off to a promising start at the beginning of the year when he brought his M-Sport Puma Rally1 home in third position, but since then it’s all gone a little wayward.

A retirement in Sweden, was followed by an improved fourth position in Croatia, but despite the renewed optimism, the best Breen could manage in Portugal was eighth.

It’s certainly not where he or M-Sport expected his car to be finishing and begs the question, can Breen be as competitive as he was on Monte at other events over the course of the season?

Naturally, Breen innately believes that he is capable of podium finishes at every remaining round this year, but he does admit that having been without a full-time WRC drive for the last three years has curtailed his development in terms of on stage experience.


So what does he need to do in order to be fighting at the sharp end on Rally Italy?

“Not reinvent the wheel,” Breen responded to DirtFish.

“Honestly, the most important thing is not to get completely lost.

“For sure we have speed, for sure we can do it, so we just need to get our heads together.

“There’s some things that I missed [in Portugal] in terms of experience, making not the best decisions with tire choice and what not, going on what my idea was.

“For the last four years I’ve only driven on soft tires, I’ve only driven on fast, soft gravel rallies and been using soft all weekend so I don’t know how to make it work.

“I don’t know what’s the best way to make the hard tire work and it’s not so easy.”

Recent regular WRC experience might be lacking for Breen, but he’s hopeful that in Sardinia that won’t have as big an impact as it has been on the last few events.

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“I just need to get the job done, it’s not rocket science.

“Like I said, the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. The speed is there, just need to get everything that little bit more refined.

“These rallies again are rallies I haven’t done for a couple of years and it’s going to be always a bit of a struggle to get onto the pace than guys who are doing these stages year in year out.

“Sardinia thankfully is looking like some of it is a bit new or not so recent, so we’ll try to use that as an advantage.”