Give these men a fulltime drive: Breen’s Estonian advert to team bosses

Breen’s Estonian advert to team bosses

Craig Breen and Paul Nagle are using this weekend’s Rally Estonia as an opportunity to show team owners they deserve a fulltime seat in the World Rally Championship.

By Saturday’s lunchtime service the Hyundai i20 WRC crew were holding a solid second overall behind Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä.

Both men are hunting their maiden WRC win and such was the ferocity of their duel that the experienced Thierry Neuville and seven-time world champion Sébastien Ogier were trailing almost a minute adrift by the end of Friday’s loop.

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 07, Rally Estonia 2021 15-18 July 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

On Saturday morning Rovanperä eked out a slight advantage over his Irish rival but Breen said his lack of seat time compared to the Toyota driver’s was the cause of the time difference.

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 07, Rally Estonia 2021 15-18 July 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

At the end of almost every stage so far today, Breen used the live TV broadcasts as an opportunity to remind team bosses that he is looking for a fulltime seat for 2022. And that he deserves one.

“Two part-timers not doing a bad job at a part-time gig,” he said at the end of one Saturday stage.

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 07, Rally Estonia 2021, 15-18 July 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, WRC, Action during Day 2 of Rally Estonia 2021 Photographer: Romain Thuillier Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Later in the day, after being asked what does he need to do to match Rovanperä  he added: “Full season. Simple as that. If I can get in the car more often I could do it every stage.”

This followed on from Friday comments, where he was full of praise for Nagle, who kept him cool in difficult and dusty conditions.

On Friday night Breen said :“I am very happy with what we’ve achieved today. It’s been a really nice day and we are definitely in the mix. Paul has been awesome in the co-driver’s seat and the car has been amazing all day. The feeling of driving these cars on roads like this is something very special, and even more so this year because the second pass stood up really well. I’ve had a good ding-dong with Kalle all day, it’s a nice fight. It still doesn’t quite feel like home, certainly when you consider these guys are in the WRC cars each event, whereas I am more used to driving the R5. But we have finished today well, and we’ll try to carry this good rhythm into Saturday, with the first two stages completely new.”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 07, Rally Estonia 2021, 15-18 July 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Portrait during Day 1 of Rally Estonia 2021 Photographer: Romain Thuillier Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

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