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Back on tarmac | Breen heads to Belgium

Having arrived in Belgium Craig Breen will be hoping his fortunes change for the better this weekend.

The M-Sport Ford lead driver has had a turbulent run of late with results not going his way in Finland or Estonia. The best he's managed so far this season was a career equaling 2nd place spot in Sardinia, while he also stood on the third place podium step at Monte Carlo.

The Slieverue man finds himself 6th in the driver's championship - bookended by Toyota drivers Takamoto Katsuta & Esapekka Lappi in 5th and 7th.

Concerns over Ford's performance emerged after Estonia. The Cumbrian team are down on power compared to their compatriots but they can boast some supreme handling. Breen has been able to feel the car through the wheel and pedals but has not been able to match Hyundai or Toyota for speed.

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Returning to an all-tarmac event could well be the boost that the Waterford man needs. The start of the season was rife with excitement. Breen was going to head up the Ford team with a permanent seat, but mechanical issues and a share of bad luck had blighted his progress in the new hybrid era.

As the 9th stop on the calendar beckons the pressure is beginning to ramp up. A podium is needed, but ideally, a win is needed. The first WRC win has always eluded Breen despite coming agonisingly close on several occasions.

2022 marks the second WRC appearance for the Belgian event, with Breen picking up second last time out when he was still a Hyundai driver. He has previously won in Belgium albeit not in a WRC event. The main man to look at this weekend will be Belgian native Thierry Neuville who claimed first in 2018 and 2021.

Counting Belgium, there are just five events left this year, and as such fewer and fewer opportunities to pick up that elusive first win.

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