Irish pair suffer disappointing weekend on the Finnish stages
Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will turn their attention to Ypres Rally Belgium next week after a disappointing run in Finland.
The Ford Puma crew showed a lot of promise in Finland and made a strong start on Friday setting top-five times and a strong pace while keeping in the fight for a podium position.
They ended Friday fifth position overall and just 6.2 seconds adrift of the podium. The strong pace continued on Saturday as, despite rainy conditions and low grip levels, the Irish crew would keep up with top-running cars.
Disappointment struck on SS12, Breen took the wrong line over a crest, colliding with a banking and tearing off the rear right corner of their Puma Hybrid Rally1.
Returning to action on Sunday, Breen highlighted his all-out pace and capabilities of the Puma Hybrid Rally1 with a blistering time on the power stage to claim second (on the stage) and four valuable power stage points.
“We’ve had a decent enough end to the weekend with the power stage, but obviously I’m disappointed with the overall result. Our pace has been good, we’d have like to have stayed in contention for the podium a bit longer, but that’s the way it is, unfortunately.
"We’re looking forward to Ypres now, it’s a completely different rally as we’re back on tarmac again, so let’s see how it goes,” said Breen.
The Belgian round of the WRC takes place between August 18 and 21. Breen and Nagle won the event in 2019 before it became a round of the World Rally Championship. Last year, driving for Hyundai, they finished second behind home-grown here and then teammate Thierry Neuville.