Breen’s extended Italian job
Craig Breen will return to Rallye San Remo next month – a rally he previously won in 2019.
The 68th running of the legendary event on the Ligurian coast will take place on April 10 and 11.
Two years ago (the rally did not run last year after a massive storm his southern Franca and this region in Italy) Breen was victorious while driving a Skoda Fabia R5.
This time around he will be at the wheel of same Hyundai i20 R5 that teammates by Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghedrove to victory on the recent Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio, the opening round of the Italian Rally Championship.
Breen was challenging for the lead of that event until a faulty wheel caused a puncture and speared him off the road.
The Waterford driver is registered for the Sparco Italian Rally Championship and is expected to contest more rounds of the series as the year progresses.
The Italian Rally Championship is scheduled to be contested over eight rounds, featuring events on tarmac and gravel. Among the dates are famous names like the Rally San Remo, and the Rally di Roma Capitale, where the crews of the national series will share the stages with competitors in the European Championship.
Earlier this week, Rally San Remo organisers released an impressive entry list that includes nearly every driver who has driven a Hyundai World Rally Car this year.
It is 18 years since Rally San Remo was the Italian round of the WRC and despite a successful switch to Sardinia, diehard rally fans consider the Citta dei Fiori-based event the spiritual home of Italian rallying.
One who certainly believes this is Hyundai Motorsport team boss Andrea Adamo who grew up in the area learned his trade as a Lancia Rally Team of the 1990s.
Neuville and Ott Tanak will contest a special class devoted to current World Rally Cars – a hark back to Italy’s WRC pedigree in the mountain roads above San Remo.
Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet is also entered but it is not clear yet if he will contest the special WRC class or if the will take part in the main rally.
What is certain is that Breen will be joined by Oliver Solberg in another R5 version of the Hyundai i20 in the national championship section of the two-day event. That means they will contest all eight stages.
The rally will start at 5.00 pm on Saturday April 10 with the two-kilometer televised Power Stage on the streets of Bajardo.
Breen, Neuville and Tanak are already confirmed for Rally Croatia which takes place two weeks after San Remo. The Italian event will give the World Rally team valuable data ahead of the WRC’s first asphalt rally of the year.
The Sunday section much longer, ahead like seven special stages, including the double pass on San Bartolomeo, Colle d’Oggia and Vignai, and the grand finale with the longest special stage, Cesio-Carpasio at 20.75 km long.
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