POPULAR Irish driver Craig Breen says he’s desperate to return to Kennards Hire Rally Australia with the Hyundai team – but his selection may depend on the performance of alternate teammate Dani Sordo in Spain later this month.
Sordo, who sat out last weekend’s Wales Rally GB while Breen finished eighth, is currently 10th in the driver’s standings.
Motorsport Monday rallies editor Jerry Williams reports a strong outing from Sordo at home in Spain would likely rule Breen in for Australia, because Hyundai team boss Andrea Adamo will want a driver sitting as far down the championship standings as possible. Breen is 14thand the lowest-ranked Hyundai driver, having contested only Rally Finland and Wales Rally GB this season.
The aim would be for the Hyundai team, which also is expected to include past Rally Australia winners Thierry Neville and Andreas Mikkelsen, to benefit from the cleanest and quickest possible conditions coming from a day-one start position at the rear of the leading group.
Adamo said he would not make any decisions about his team for Australia until after Spain.
“Australia is a place where road cleaning is very important,” said Adamo. “Let me see where Dani is after Catalunya. You can be the fastest man in the world, but if you clean the road for the others then you are finished. I want to see the standings, and then I will decide.”
“I’d do anything to go to Australia. I’d love to go back there to right all the wrongs of last year,” said Breen, who visited the Coffs Coast scenery in his Citroën C3 five times over six stages to finish seventh overall.
“I left with some horrible memories, so I really want to go back and do a good job for Hyundai.
“But it’s down to whatever cards are best to play before the rally. Andrea is playing a fantastic game, he’s doing absolutely everything in his power to win the championship and I have to make myself the, I guess, the third-strongest card to play in Australia.”