Hyundai Motorsports Craig Breen says he and co driver Paul Nagle are thrilled to be kicking off their 2021 FIA World Rally Championship season next weekend as the sport heads to Finland for the only full winter rally event of the 2021 season.
The Waterford native will once again complete a partial schedule for 2021, driving the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC and speaking ahead of the event, Breen says:
I am thrilled that Paul and I get to start our 2021 championship at a brand-new event for the WRC, a rally that is going to be an amazing adventure for us all. We can be quite sure that we will have cold weather and big snowbanks at Arctic Rally Finland. It’s important for Paul and me to start our season in the right way. It will take a bit of time to get back into the swing of things again, but we can’t wait for it.
Thierry Neuville who finished the opening event of the season in Monte Carlo last month on the podium commented on the upcoming Arctic Rally Finland saying:
Aside from our recent pre-event test, the only time I had been in Rovaniemi before was for a test with the team many years ago. It’s proper winter conditions, lots of snow on the stages, huge snowbanks and quite narrow in places. It’s a challenging profile but one we are really looking forward to. We were able to pick up a podium in Monte-Carlo, in our first competitive rally together, so the target for Martijn and I is to build some momentum and aim to deliver another solid result for the team.
Ott Tanak who retired from the season opening event in Monte Carlo and speaking ahead of the event in Finland the Estonian said:
Arctic Rally Finland will be a very interesting event. Rovaniemi is very far north in Finland so it is certain to be cold and snowy. I competed there about ten years ago, so I have some experience of a few of the stages. It’s definitely a full snow event and I’m sure it has a rightful place on the WRC calendar. We will be aiming to get our championship off to a proper start after the disappointment and challenges of Monte, targeting a more representative result for ourselves and the team.
Speaking ahead of Arctic Rally Finland, Hyundai Motorsports WRC Team Principal Andrea Adamo commented saying:
It’s no secret that our season didn’t begin in the way we had planned in Monte-Carlo. Arctic Rally Finland gives us the opportunity to rectify this. All three drivers have finished on the podium in previous full-snow events, so we know they are capable of great speed in tricky conditions. A brand-new event is an exciting challenge, but there is no room for resting on laurels. We will have to be at the top of our game on all three days – nothing less than victory will be a good result