Craig Breen was out testing with two Hyundai i20 R5s before Rally Fafe Montelongo. The Team MRF Tyres driver faced a busy test day in what will be a new rally for him and most of the field this weekend. He comes into this rally after a podium in the WRC. So we took some time to sit down with the Irish star to discuss the testing and expectations for the weekend.
Team MRF Tyres: Hi Craig. Team MRF Tyres had two Hyundai i20 R5s at the pre event test for Rally Fafe Montelongo, can you take us through the plan?
Craig Breen: We’re here with a test car as well as the as the regular car. We have some development to do on the on the hard compound tyre. That was the first of our plans for the day and we are using a test car for that. Then we can do some actual work on the rally car for the for the event. The specifications are a little bit different between the two cars and sets of tyres. So yeah, we had a little bit of work to do!
Team MRF Tyres: How do you switch between developing the MRF Tyre and then setting a car up?
Craig Breen: The kilometres in the morning is helpful to get used to the situation for the rally this weekend with the grip and the profile of the roads. Then in the afternoon I need to put effort into getting a good setup because it’s a new rally for everybody. And we do try and make the car as best as possible and try to take any advantage we can.
Team MRF Tyres: You have a lot of experience but this is a new rally. How do you prepare for Rally Fafe Montelongo?
Craig Breen: Honestly, all the rallies in European Championship have been new to me. I did Latvia already but in wintertime. But apart from that, everything else has been new. So, to get to this point writing all your notes is needed and it’s only when I go back to the WRC where I can look at records and my old notes. I’m used to it and I enjoy it. It’s nice to see new roads, new places and just looking forward to the rally.
Team MRF Tyres: Have you settled back into the R5 after the WRC round?
Craig Breen: Yeah, it is nice to be back in the R5 for Team MRF Tyres. I always like driving on tarmac and I’m just happy to be back behind the wheel again this weekend and hopefully we can do a good job
Team MRF Tyres: This surface seems to be different to what we had in Italy and the weather is also different.
Craig Breen: It is perhaps a little bit faster. The surface here seems to be a little slippery, but we’ll have to wait and see how it is. It will be an interesting weekend. From what I’ve seen the footage of the stages looks quite nice and let’s hope the weather plays ball and we can have a good time.
Team MRF Tyres: We are expecting a bit of rain this weekend does that factor into what you’re doing here?
Craig Breen: Yeah, we did some runs on a wet road in the afternoon after we got a tanker to wet the stage to try and replicate something that we could probably see jn the weekend’s forecast.
Team MRF Tyres: And finally, what would be a successful weekend?
Craig Breen: The main aim is to just to continue the development of the tyre. We are really trying to improve like we’ve been doing all year.