Ex-WRC's Craig Breen to take on Ypres Rally with new Polo R5 car

Ex-Citroen World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen will contest this year's Ypres Rally in Belgium, driving a new Volkswagen Polo R5 for the first time

Ex-WRC's Craig Breen to take on Ypres Rally with new Polo R5 car

Breen has contested the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in a Ford Fiesta R5 and he currently leads the standings having won all four 2019 rounds.

He has also competed in the Italian Rally Championship in a Skoda Fabia R5 so far this year, as well as testing a rallycross supercar.

Despite his R5 outings, the 29-year-old has made it clear that a return to the WRC is still his aim.

Breen will drive for ex-works driver and multiple Ypres winner as a team owner - Bernard Munster - in the Polo which began competition in 2019 and found success in the WRC 2 categories.

When asked if he thought he could win the event, Breen replied: "Yes, I can be clear about that: I am coming to win!

He added: "It is my ambition to return to the World Championship as quickly as possible and that's why I consciously look for strong rallies to contest.

"We are always spoiled in Ypres, where the Renties Ypres Rally is not only one of the most beautiful but also the strongest of the asphalt rallies in Europe.

"This year I have the opportunity to drive different cars.

"After the Skoda Fabia R5 in Italy, the Ford Fiesta R5 in Ireland, I will start in Ypres with a VW Polo R5.

"I have not driven it yet, but I am convinced that it will be a top car."

Breen has contested the Ypres Rally before, scoring a podium in a Peugeot 207 S2000 in 2013, but retired the following two years with mechanical issues.

He remains popular in the country owing to his Rally Condroz victory in 2016 aboard a Citroen C3 R5.

Breen will face tough competition in 2019, with 11-time Ypres winner Freddy Loix returning in a Fabia R5 after a two-year hiatus.

World Rally Championship frontrunner Thierry Neuville will return to Ypres for the third year in a row but will swap his i20 R5 for a full 2019 WRC car.

Neuville will not compete against the likes of Breen and Loix because he will take part in a separate event running the same stages called the Ypres Rally Masters.

It will star 15 cars from past and present, with Group A and F2 kit cars expected to join Neuville in the event.

shares
comments
WRC's Wales Rally GB has Liverpool start, revives Oulton Park stage

Previous article

WRC's Wales Rally GB has Liverpool start, revives Oulton Park stage

Next article

Hyundai WRC team faces Rally Finland driver shortage

Hyundai WRC team faces Rally Finland driver shortage
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021