Breen, Meeke join WRC rally winner Hirvonen in Belgian historic rally

World Rally Championship outcasts Craig Breen and Kris Meeke will contest one of rallying's biggest historic events, the Legend Boucles Bastogne, alongside reigning winner Mikko Hirvonen

Breen, Meeke join WRC rally winner Hirvonen in Belgian historic rally

Breen - who contested two events for Hyundai in the WRC last year - and Meeke, who was not resigned to his Toyota contract, lack full-time WRC seats but will return to rallying at the Belgian event ex-Ford factory driver and 15-time WRC rally winner Hirvonen won last year.

UPDATE: Breen cancels Bastogne Historic rally entry because of Hyundai Sweden WRC call-up

Hirvonen will drive a Ford Escort Mk2 for the January 31-February 2 event as will Meeke, who gets his car from the Rallying Solutions Stable run by Belgian competitor Christophe Jacob. He will continue with regular co-driver Seb Marshall.

Breen purchased an MG Metro 6R4 last year - similar to the one his dad drove when he was a child - and drove the car in select historic events in 2019.

For the Bastogne event he will drive a Group A BMW M3 from the van den Brand team in the Netherlands (pictured above), one of the more modern historic cars in the event.

It is also a car which has become infamous in rallying circles and in Belgium, due to a video of home hero Patrick Snijers labelled 'Forceful Driving' on his way to winning the 1988 Manx International Rally going viral. Breen cited the video on social media.

"Paul and I are looking forward to this unique event and continuing our historic journey," said Breen.

"Don't worry though, we'll be back to modern machinery before too long - but I am going to enjoy the soundtrack from this era in the meantime!"

Almost 300 cars are on the entry list for the event - including some demo cars - split between a number of rallies between the event.

Hirvonen won the 'Legends' section of the event in 2019, and went on to win his class on the West Cork Rally in a modified Escort later in the year (pictured above).

Also taking part is EU Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt (Fiat 124 Sport Spider) and FIA Rally Director Yves Matton, who rallies regularly and will drive a 3.0-litre Porsche 911.

One glaring omission from the entry list is Thierry Neuville, missing the home event he used to drive the newly rebuilt Opel Corsa he started his career in on last year's event.

The works Hyundai driver has elected to skip the event, but organiser Pierre Delettre said the home favourite could still attend the event as a spectator

"I can assure you that we fought as never before to reach such a great result," said Delettre.

"Obviously, there will always be one or two individuals that will regret the absence of Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, for example.

"During the weekend Thierry and Nico (co-driver, Nicolas Gilsoul) will call in to say hello and no doubt we will have the opportunity to see them back in action at a following edition.

"Having said that we can and should be proud of our 2020 entry, quite superb. It's quite simple, no other European sporting event on the historic scene can do it as well."

The three-day event has stages and regularity sections, with a total distance of just over 400 miles. While the event is based on asphalt, mud often gets dragged onto the roads and snow can also pepper the surface.

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