A badly parked truck during the recce for the Croatia Rally has cost Craig Breen and Paul Nagle a certain top five place in the newest event in the World Rally Championship.
On today’s opening stage the 20km Mali Lipovec – Grdanjci 1 they clipped a roundabout and suffered a puncture.
The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC crew had to stop and change it and lost over two minutes as a result.
The incident dropped them from their overnight fifth to ninth overall.
At the stage finish control, Breen told WRC.com crews that during the recce earlier this week that there was a truck parked on the roundabout and he was unable to study its approach and exit in full.
They finished the day in eighth place overall after fellow Hyundai driver Pierre-Louis crashed out on the 14th stage.
Breen said he was disappointed with his pace despite it being his first tarmac rally in the Hyundai
“I actually don’t know what to tell you. I think it’s quite clear that I am far away from where I should be,” he said at the finish of Saturday’s final stage,” he said. ““We woke up this morning really looking forward to the day ahead, but that ended quickly, just 100 metres into the first stage when we picked up a puncture. It took the wind out of my sails, if I’m honest. With only one spare tyre we couldn’t take any risks for the rest of the loop. I tried to build my confidence for the afternoon as the car felt better than yesterday, but on some of the hairier parts it just didn’t fit like a glove on my hands. We can try some changes overnight, some smaller subtle things to help find the confidence and to allow us to let go a bit. I feel like I’m still having to hold back in places, which is a real pity because with the weather as it is, and with the profile of these stages – especially this afternoon – it really feels like back home. I know I have more to give.”
Tomorrow’s 80km and four stages of action starts at 6.20am Irish time.
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