A BLOW-BY-BLOW ACCOUNT OF CRAIG BREEN AND PAUL NAGLE’S YPRES RALLY BELGIUM – and photo album of all three days

FRIDAY

SS1: Reninge-Vleteren  Distance: 15.00km Time: 7:51.6.

“Honestly I have a huge bang on a concrete lip. I tried to avoid it but I hit it, I lost my rhythm and thought I had a puncture but it was alright.”

SS2: Westouter- Boeschepe 1 Distance: 19.60km Time: 10:35.3

“I didn’t forget how to drive on this black stuff! I have a car that feels like it working for me. I love it!”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

SS 3 Kemmelberg Distance 23.62km Time 11:39.7

“Honestly, I didn’t think that was such a good run. I tried to be super clean. Last time I was on some of these roads was in 2014 so I was trying to exploit the grip. It is so much fun.”

 SS4 Zonnnebeke 9.45km  Time 4.36.0

“Really happy. It’s been awesome, the car is working well and I feel confident. Croatia was such a struggle that I started to wonder would I ever be able to get it back together on tarmac.

“I took some stupid references from the R5 car and it’s really different with the world car and the aero that you have. “It’s not often I have more experience than the others, so I’m trying to exploit it.

“It’s difficult to take any references, but at least the grip is similar on the older roads. It’s the new roads which are more difficult to read, but I definitely enjoyed it.

 “I had quite dirty roads. Especially the last stage we did was quite bad, but honestly, there’s pros and cons.”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

SS5: Reninge-Vleteren  Distance: 15.00km Time: 7.51.1

“That is the trickiest stage of the loop for me. A lot of little concrete lips that you have to avoid. I am looking forward to the next two.”

SS6: Westouter- Boeschepe 1 Distance: 19.60km Time: 10.28.5

“Honestly I enjoy the stage. Our run on the first time was nearly perfect but will just try to not make any mistakes.”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

SS 7 Kemmelberg Distance 23.62km Time 11:32.4

“I thought I had a good stage. Maybe it is familiar surroundings and compared to the rest, it isn’t terrible.”

SS 8 Zonnnebeke 9.45km  Time – Stage cancelled

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

“Honestly, I am really happy and have to be pleased with how the day has gone. The car has been feeling fantastic, and Paul is doing a great job as always. It’s nice to get back the feeling on tarmac; Croatia was a struggle, but the car here fits me like a glove. The first three stages this morning went well. I lost time on the fourth one as I took some references from the R5 car, which didn’t work, but it was a brilliant loop. Two fastest times and we led the rally. The gap to the lead went out a bit this afternoon but we knew it would be a challenge to match Thierry here; to be seven seconds behind after 135km isn’t terrible. The conditions on the second loop were tricky but I still enjoyed it and it’ll be another interesting day tomorrow – after I’ve had a cup of tea and some sleep!”

SATURDAY

SS9 Hollebeke 1 Distance: 25.86km Time 13.30.7

“I would be interested to see what he (Tänak) would say if he held me up for that long.”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

SS10 Dikkebus 1 Distance 12.49 Time 6.23.9

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen Photographer: Austral Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

“It was tricky but I really enjoyed that stage. Dikkebus is the epiphany of this rally.”

SS11 – Watou 1 Distance: 13.62km Time 6.43.1

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC Photographer: Dufour Fabien Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

“It was a tricky stage. There was lots of gravel on the stage but we are still here and still in the fight.”

SS12 Mesen- Middelhoek 1 Distance: 7,99 km Time 4.26.3

“I was very cautious at the start of the stage. Last time I took a curb there I took a wheel off! Now I am towing the party line.”

“It was an interesting morning. We made some small changes during the night. The car feels really good and we can do good things but I have to protect the position. It is important for the Manufacturer’s Championship to get the points and 1-2 would be even better.”

SS13 : Hollebeke 2 Distance: 25.86km Time 13:25.6

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC Photographer: Dufour Fabien Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

“It is tricky, I am trying to not make any mistakes and keep the car on the road.

SS14 Dikkebus 2 Distance 12.49 Time 6.20.7

“There is one side of me to bring the two cars home, and then the other side of me says that Dikkebus is a great stage and I don’t know if it will be back in the WRC!”

SS15 : Watou 2 Distance: 13,62km Time6.39.9

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC Photographer: Dufour Fabien Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

“They are fighting their own battle between themselves, and it is hugely important to take the points and we are in a good rhythm.”

SS16  Mesen- Middelhoek 2 Distance: 7,99 km Time 6.24.1

“It has been a nice day. I have enjoyed the rally from start to finish. I am a little sad to be leaving Flanders. There is still a lot of room for mistakes tomorrow.

“We have tried to make no mistakes, and I am happy that I have found a rhythm that I can manage; it’s not only being on the pace but also being able to control it. I am super happy with the performance we’ve shown; we’ve taken another good step forward. I’ve had a nice feeling from the car, and it’s important for us to have two cars in a 1-2. Spa tomorrow may not have many kilometres but there will be room for mistakes. We have to protect our positions, which would be a great boost for the championship.”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC Photographer: Dufour Fabien Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

SUNDAY

SS 17 – Stavelot Distance: 9.05km Time 5.13.8

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 2021, 13-15 August 2021 Paul Nagle, Portrait during Ypres Rally Belgium 2021 Photographer: Romain Thuillier Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Minor off into a bank
“I just got caught out. You have to be very careful.”

SS 18 Francorchamps 1Distance: 11.21km Time 6.59.8

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 2021, 13-15 August 2021 Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, WRC, Atmosphere during Day 1 of Ypres Rally Belgium 2021 Photographer: Romain Thuillier Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

“I’m very happy to do a clean stage. That was very silly what I did this morning, I should have been so much more alert there, but we survived.”

SS 19 – Stavelot Distance: 9.05km Time 5.14.1

“I tried to back off and be as neat and tidy as I could.”

SS 20 Francorchamps 1Distance: 11.21km Time 6.51.9

“To finish second here at Ypres as part of a Hyundai 1-2 result means a lot. Sometimes, there’s a lot of space in between our events, so we can struggle to get into a rhythm but two events in a row with two podiums is amazing. It definitely gives me more confidence going forward. We have all the ingredients around us to perform to this standard; it’s a pleasure and an honour to drive a car like this. Thanks to everyone in the team, my gravel crew, everyone in service, and to Paul; we’ve had a great package this weekend, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

2021 FIA World Rally Championship Round 08, Ypres Rally Belgium 13-15 August 2021 Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Photographer: Dufour Fabien Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

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