Croatia Rally – second loop about to get underway – Breen/Nagle fifth -photos from opening stages

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 03, Croatia Rally 22-25 April 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Action during Day 1 of Croatia Rally 2021 Photographer: Vincent Thuillier Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Croatia Rally – second loop about to get underway – Breen/Nagle fifth

photos from opening stages and start ramp

Craig Breen and Paul Nagle are preparing for the second loop of four stages on the opening day of the Croatia Rally – the newest event in the World Rally Championship.

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 03, Croatia Rally 22-25 April 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC Photographer: Dufour Fabien Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

The loop gets underway just after 2pm Irish time and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC crew hold fifth place overall,  33.4 seconds off rally leader and Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville

Breen and Nagle were fourth fastest on the opening Rude to Plesivica test which took place just after 730am Irish time this morning.

“The first time I have driven the car on a road like that. Our test was on a fully dry day, big wide road, so completely different, but we got through it, still a lot more mileage to go,” said Breen at the end of the stage.

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 03, Croatia Rally 22-25 April 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Atmosphere during Day 1 of Croatia Rally 2021 Photographer: Vincent Thuillier Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

A half hour later after the 23.76kmsecond stage he said.

“”That (stage) reminded me a little bit of back home, It was nice where it was bumpy, with crests and jumps, I thought it was quite ok, I’m just missing a bit of confidence in some places. It all still feels a little bit alien, all in all, quite happy!”

As ever, on dry tarmac rally roads in warm weather, it is the round and black things that are causing the most distress.

“I put the two hard (tyres) on for that stage, I should have put them on way earlier, to be honest. I should have had them on for the long stage before. All part of the learning process, all good for the moment,” he said after the 10.10km third test.

The crews are about to leave service for a second run over that short Rude to Plesivica test

“It’s been a good morning. Lots learned, lots still to do,” said Breen ahead of the service halt.

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