Relishing the freedom – Craig Breen ends Rally de España in the top 10
After Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle retired due to an electrical problem, the Abu Dhabi Total WRT were able to count on Craig Breen/Scott Martin to represent the team at the end of Rally de España. Craig and Scott concluded a rewarding race tenth overall to finish in the points.
Spurred on by signing a contract with Citroen Racing for the next two seasons it essentially meant the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team driver could push to his limit and at the same time relax without the pressure of not knowing would his future career be at stake with every kilometre he drove.
On Day one Eight fastest was the most Craig could manage with his team-mate Kris Meeke following behind him. The pair swapped places on the two following stages but it was Craig’s consistency that saw his Citroen arrive into the evening service halt in eight place overall and eager to be converted to asphalt specification for the remaining stages
On the second day temporary repairs enroute gained Craig penalties for lateness that saw him as far back as 15th overall before the mid-day service. The car fully repaired by the mechanics for the second loop Craig and Scott pushed and eventually took thirteenth spot at the end of the second day C
Craig Breen, had a positive start to the third day. On both of the morning stages, he set times very close to those of Latvala – who was competing in similar conditions – and moved up from 13th to 11th position.
During the mid-leg service, the Irishman set himself the goal of moving back into the points. He managed to do just that on the second run on Pratdip, before strengthening his hold on tenth position during the Duesaigües Power Stage.
Craig Breen: “It has been a positive final day. This morning, it was still pitch black when we set off on SS16.
But we set a good time compared with the guys who had the same visibility conditions as we did. We kept up
the good form on the next few stages and we learned a lot, especially by trying out a few different set-ups.
I’m really pleased to finish in the top 10 and score one point. I’m now really looking forward to competing at
Wales Rally GB!”
“I’m really pleased with how the weekend has gone – apart from the problems obviously. We’ve showed good speed and that’s good for the future.”
1.Ogier / Ingrassia (VW Polo R WRC) 3:13:03.6
2. Sordo / Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +15.6
3. Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:15.0
4. Paddon / Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:27.8
5. Østberg / Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:24.4
6. Tänak / Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:24.9
7. Abbring / Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) +7:31.3
8. Kopecky / Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +9:05.1
9. Tidemand / Andersson (Skoda Fabia R5) +9:20.4
10. Breen / Martin (DS 3 WRC) +9:57.1