Shortly before announcing Sebastien Loeb's departure from the team, Hyundai revealed its crew line-up for the Ypres Rally Belgium, with Craig Breen joining regular drivers Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak.
Breen will also compete in two local rallies in the build-up to the event, the first-ever WRC round to be held in Belgium, to gain experience in a WRC car on tarmac. The Irishman and co-driver Paul Nagle, who finished second in Rally Estonia to score their first podium for Hyundai Motorsport, will contest the Aarova Rally Oudenaarde (October 10-11) and the South Belgian Rally (October 24-25) in a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.
The two national events will offer valuable seat time and experience for the crew as they prepare for their first tarmac WRC round with Hyundai Motorsport, which will undoubtedly prove crucial in the hunt for this year’s championship title.
Breen impressed at Ypres last year in an R5, taking a resounding victory, so he brings important experience to the team as the event assumes championship status for the first time this season.
Craig Breen flies into second place in Estonia.
Breen said:“I am delighted to get the call up for Ypres Rally Belgium with Hyundai Motorsport. I really enjoyed last year’s event, when I got a victory, myself and Paul, when it was held in the summertime in conditions that I imagine are very different to what we’ll see in November. I am looking forward to my first tarmac rally with the team and in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, in addition to the Aarova and South Belgian rallies that we will do in October in Belgium. "It will give us valuable seat time and an opportunity to understand the conditions we are likely to face at Ypres. I hope we’ll be able to repeat the sort of performance and result that we had in Estonia, which will be important for the manufacturers’ championship.” Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:“Craig and Paul showed in Estonia what they can achieve when they have the correct tools to do the job. They both demonstrated their strength in Ypres last year - winning in a rival R5 car - so they bring invaluable experience and knowledge of this event to our team. "The championship has closed up as a result of our 1-2 in Estonia, so we have to continue to field our strongest line-up in each of the few final rounds. I believe Craig and Paul are the best crew to join Thierry/Nicolas and Ott/Martin in Ypres to help us finish the year as strongly as we can. "They will have important seat time in the two local tarmac events, the Aarova and South Belgian rallies, to add to their experience of the event, the car and our team.”
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