Breen secures 2022 WRC full-time drive with M-Sport Ford

Craig Breen will spearhead M-Sport’s World Rally Championship attack next season after signing a two-year deal with the British squad.

Breen secures 2022 WRC full-time drive with M-Sport Ford

As previously reported the Irishman has been heavily linked with the Cumbrian outfit this season, with his and co-driver Paul Nagle’s move to the Ford team now confirmed.

A chance for a first full-time WRC drive in M-Sport’s all-new hybrid Ford Puma Rally1 car arrives after operating a part-time WRC programme with Hyundai since 2019.

The 31-year-old has enjoyed a career-best run of form this season, scoring three consecutive podiums, including second place finishes in Estonia and Belgium and a third at last weekend’s Rally Finland.

"I am so happy and proud to be joining the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team with Paul by my side,” said Breen, who began his rally career in M-Sport machinery.

“It has been a long road for us in the World Rally Championship with many twists and turns but we have now been given a golden ticket to drive for the most prestigious marque in motorsport and fight for the World Rally Championship.

“Ford has always been very close to my heart as my career started in the Ford Fiesta R2 winning the Junior World Rally Championship, before winning the S2000 World Rally Championship in a Ford Fiesta S2000.

“I love rallying, every nuance of the sport, but especially the history. To add my name to the list of drivers that have driven for Ford is a bit surreal, drivers like Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola, Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz.

“To have my name etched in the history books besides these greats is a huge privilege.”

Ford Puma WRC Rally1

Ford Puma WRC Rally1

Photo by: WRC.com

Breen has already sampled the new Puma on gravel in Cumbria ahead of WRC’s move to Rally1 regulations next year, and is due to drive the car again in a multi-surface test in Spain later this month.

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson added: “His performances this season have not gone unnoticed, delivering fantastic consistent results whilst only having a partial WRC programme.

"We started discussions about the possibility of joining forces a number of months ago and I am very excited to be able to now officially announce that he will lead the team for the next two seasons.

“We have a fantastic car in the Puma and I have no doubt that Craig and the Puma will deliver success for the team in the coming seasons.”

Team principal Richard Millener is confident Breen will be the man to lead M-Sport back to the front next year.

"I am very confident Craig and Paul can deliver the very best results for the team and I cannot wait to see them lining up for the start of the Monte Carlo Rally in only a few months’ time,” said Millener.

“Our goal now is to get both the lads comfortable in the team and give them all they need to help deliver the results with the new Puma. I cannot wait to get started.”

Breen is the first driver confirmed by M-Sport for 2022 although it is expected Adrien Fourmaux, who has been developing the new Puma, will be retained for next season.

It is anticipated M-Sport will field three cars next season with current driver Gus Greensmith and nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb among those linked to a possible drive next year.

 
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