M-Sport Ford driver Craig Breen will return to Rally Sanremo next weekend (9/10 April) with a goal of claiming a third straight victory at the Italian event. Breen was successful in 2019 and again in 2021 at the Asphalt Classic aboard a Skoda Fabia R5 and Hyundai i20 R5 respectively. The 2020 tranche was canceled after flooding and collapsed bridges rendered the route impassable.
If he manages to score a hat-trick, Breen will become only the fourth person in Meeting history to accomplish such a feat, following in the footsteps of Miki Biasion (1987-1989), Gilles Panizzi (2000-2002). Paolo Andreucci (2015-2018).
At the Sanremo Rally, Breen – who will have John Rowan in the notes rather than Paul Nagle, his regular co-driver – will make her competition debut in the Rally2 version of M-Sport Ford’s Fiesta supermini.
“I’m very happy to say we’ll be back again this year,” said Breen. “I’ve really enjoyed it in the past and managed to win it on the last two occasions so yeah I couldn’t miss it.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve there and we’ll do everything we can to do it three times in a row.”
The outing also represents the perfect opportunity for the Irishman to secure some extra seat time ahead of the next round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Croatia over the weekend of 21-24 April.
Breen is currently seventh in the WRC standings after the first two events. A third place finish at the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally in France was followed by retirement on the opening day of Rally Sweden in February when he plowed into a snowdrift and got stuck on the first day.
He later blamed the accident on windshield washer fluid that froze on the windshield of his Fiesta Rally1 car, affecting his vision.
“It’s obviously been a while since we’ve competed and with Croatia’s rise, Sanremo presented an opportunity to get back into competitive mode,” he said.