Craig Breen could only avoid following WRC for '15 minutes'

Citroen driver Craig Breen says his attempts to avoid paying attention to the Tour of Corsica during his two-month World Rally Championship absence lasted "15 minutes"

Craig Breen could only avoid following WRC for '15 minutes'

This weekend in Argentina, Breen will compete in Citroen's C3 WRC for the first time since finishing second on February's Rally Sweden. He stepped down to make way for nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb on the last two rounds.

Breen said sitting out Rally Mexico and Corsica had been difficult, but added he had been unable to keep himself distracted for long.

"Since I was eight I was out there competing pretty much week-in-week-out, so to be twiddling my thumbs for eight weeks hasn't been the easiest of things," Breen told Autosport.

"I'd gone under the radar to get myself into a local kart race in Italy [before Corsica].

"I'm good friends with Robert Kubica and I bought a 125cc gearbox kart off him - I love it and I'm out in it most days.

"But when the race got nearer, I got the flu and I wasn't going to be fit so I had to pull out.

"On the first day I went away to the kart track anyway, turned off all social media and told myself I wasn't going to listen or watch anything [WRC-related].

"That lasted for all of 15 minutes, until I was back off the track and working on the kart - I started listening and heard Seb was off. I was gutted for him and the team."

Breen said he was more interested in building confidence on the remaining rallies to be better placed to win them in 2019 than scoring his first victory this year.

"There are some rallies this year where I'm looking to tick the box with a win," he said.

"But the primary focus for me is to leave every rally knowing I can come back and fight for the win next year.

"When we left Sweden, that feeling was there - I was so confident I was in no other state of mind other than to be fighting to win it next time we're there.

"Compare that to last year when we left rallies like Argentina, Sardinia, Portugal and Finland struggling for confidence and you can see how far the team and the car has come."

Breen and team-mate Kris Meeke both start this week's Argentina round with a new set-up on their C3s, with Citroen introducing new rear geometry for the car in South America.

"It's definitely helped a lot," said Breen, who tested the set-up in Portugal for the first time last week. "I'd reserve judgement before I described it as a eureka moment, but it's a real step.

"The guys [Meeke and Loeb] did a bit of work with this before Mexico.

"You can take so much confidence from the rear of the car now. Before, any time you put energy, yaw or angle into [the car] you were always a little bit afraid of the rear."

shares
comments
Breakthrough in Rally GB route row, FIA agrees new powerstage idea
Previous article

Breakthrough in Rally GB route row, FIA agrees new powerstage idea

Next article

New Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 WRC2 contender delayed to Rally Spain

New Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 WRC2 contender delayed to Rally Spain
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
18 h
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022