Monte Friday report: Breen’s confidence grows – but a stupidly placed fan with a cam costs time on final stage

Craig Breen and Paul Nagle are in a monster fight with former Hyundai teammates Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak.

The M-Sport Ford Puma Rally crew are in sixth place overall after dropping one place to Ott Tanak on the final test of the day after a fan placed a tripod camera in a stupid place and had to swerve to avoid it. He reckoned the incident cost three seconds and the overnight gap to Tanak is 2.5.

“Not bad, I’m happy the day is over. There is an a that put a camera on a tripod and he was standing just behind,” he said.

Earlier in the day and after the first stage of today’s second loop, the second run over the 18.33km Roure to Beuil test Breen’s confidence was growing in the car.

He said: “All okay. It’s a relatively dry stage and I enjoyed it, the balance is nice. Like I’ve been saying, there’s a hell of a lot more to come.”

The second run over Guillaumes to Péone / Valberg was Breen and Nagle’s  best run to-date in his new for 2022 Rally2 Hybrid. 

They were equal third fastest on the 13.39km stage. They shared third fastest time with Sebastien Loeb – a stage where his teammate Gus Greensmith took his first ever stage win – showing the full potential of the new car

“Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey,” he said at the stage finish, and this said as much about his growing confidence in the car as it said about his fight with Neuville. 

Craig Breen (IRL) and Paul Nagle (IRL) of team M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM are seen performing during the World Rally Championship Monte-Carlo in Monte-Carlo, Monaco Redbull Content Pool

On stage eight, the second run over the 17.11km Val-de-Chalvagne to Entrevaux test, they lost time after a fan placed a tripod camera in the way and they lost time and a place to Ott Tanak.

Tyrone co-driver Aaron Johnson is in eighth place alongside Takamoto Katsuta in their Toyota Yaris Hybrid Rally1. 

After the seventh stage Eamonn Boland and MJ Morrisey were provisionally shown in 26th place overall but not all cars had cleared the stage and this result is very likely to change.

After SS5 the Wexford/Waterford crew were in fourth place in the WSRC-2 Masters Category in their Ford Fiesta Rally2.

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