Craig Breen has talked of the confidence his 2016 Neste Rally Finland podium gave him on the WRC’s fastest roads after being confirmed for a return to this year’s Jyväskylä-based event.
Hyundai Motorsport this week included Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle in its line-up for the 6 - 9 August encounter, the next scheduled round of the WRC, alongside Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville.
Finland is the WRC counter of which Breen has the most knowledge. This year will be his 10th start at the event and his second shot at the rally in a factory Hyundai i20. The Irishman scored his best result there four years ago when he finished third.
“Finland’s not necessarily the event you’d think of being my favourite. It’s not exactly my background or the kind of roads I’ve grown up on but I absolutely love it,” he said.
“The result in 2016, getting that podium, that really helped to build the confidence on an event where confidence means so much.”
“I know much more about the car and the team compared with this time last year. The data we gathered from last year will really help with the set-up this time – last year I came to the event with limited time in the car. There have been some changes to the car in areas like the aerodynamics, but I can’t wait to get back into it.
Breen was one of the stars of the rally last year, despite his inexperience of the i20. He was top Hyundai for much of the event before ultimately stepping aside to let Neuville grab more points on the final day.
“All I’m focused on right now is doing everything I can to deliver the best possible job for Hyundai Motorsport in August,” said Breen. “Whatever happens with everything else [the coronavirus], I can’t do anything about that.
“What I can do is make sure I’m just as sharp, focused and ready as I’ve ever been – that’s what I’m working on.”
In addition to his Finnish outing last season, Breen competed in a factory Hyundai at Rally GB and again on round two in Sweden this season. แทงบอลเดี่ยว