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Breen replaces Loeb in Hyundai's WRC line-up for Sweden

Breen replaces Loeb in Hyundai's WRC line-up for Sweden
Jan 27, 2020, 1:03 PM

The Hyundai World Rally Championship team will bring Craig Breen back into its line-up in place of Sebastien Loeb for the second round of the 2020 campaign, Rally Sweden.

Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle, who accompanied him during his part-time schedule with Hyundai last year, will line up alongside the team's two full-time drivers, reigning champion Ott Tanak and Monte Carlo Rally winner Thierry Neuville.

Though he'd showed solid speed in his two WRC outings with the Korean manufacturer in 2019, Breen was not named as part of Hyundai's plans for the 2020 season, though the possibility of a second Hyundai team for himself and Andreas Mikkelsen was mooted.

Yet now the Irishman will slot into Hyundai's third manufacturer-team entry, which was due to be shared by Loeb and Dani Sordo.

Breen's career-best WRC finish so far came in the 2018 edition of Rally Sweden, in which he finished second for Citroen behind winner Neuville.

"We have taken the decision to add Craig Breen to our line-up for Rally Sweden alongside Thierry and Ott in a bid to field the most competitive package possible for the event with the best available options for road position," Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo explained.

"We opted to bring in Craig based on his performance in Sweden in 2018 when he finished in second place, and the potential he showed in our i20 Coupe WRC last season."

Though an exact division of events between Loeb and Sordo hadn't been announced, Hyundai's statement indicates that Loeb had been previously slated to pilot the i20 WRC in Sweden, and that Breen's arrival represents a change of plans.

Nine-time world champion Loeb was an underwhelming sixth at Monte, finishing over five minutes down on Neuville.

Hyundai has also announced it has scrapped a planned pre-event test in Sweden, and will instead seek to give Tanak, Neuville and Breen mileage "in the area close to the rally" a week prior to the event.

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About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Sweden
Drivers Craig Breen , Sébastien Loeb
Teams Hyundai Motorsport
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy