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
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Craig Breen
Author David Evans
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021