A fresh mindset unleashes Puma pace for Breen


The Irishman achieved his best result to date for the British team by finishing second behind Ott Tänak on the Mediterranean island.

He faced an uphill battle after not having raced in Sardinia since 2018, but he was consistently posting top 3 stage times and seemed much more comfortable with his hybrid-powered Puma Rally1.

Breen’s demeanor at each stage finish was a far cry from last month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal, where he seemed beaten at times after battling punctures and brake problems.

However, speaking to WRC.com after the event, he confirmed that the biggest changes between the two rallies were his own.

“I think it was more of a change in my own approach, to be honest,” Breen explained. “We haven’t done anything big since Portugal.

“I just had to go with it and not get too carried away. I suppose it was something I knew needed to be done myself, and of course with the people around me.

“That was the key, I think. It’s been a couple of difficult rallies since Monte Carlo and Monte Carlo actually.

“I never really felt at home, but this weekend it just seemed to work. I got into a rhythm, found the car a lot easier and felt safe. The car is getting better and better – it took a while but she’s a yoke,” he added.

Tänak: This one is for the team

Tänak: This one is for the team

Rally Italia Sardegna winner Ott Tänak says his first World Rally Championship win of the season is a testament to Hyundai…

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The Rally Italia Sardegna is a special event for Breen. Originally from Waterford, he now spends a lot of time in Italy. Popular with the locals, he thinks that might be another reason he’s felt so at home on the rock-strewn stages.

“I spend a lot of time here – I have an Italian girlfriend and I speak the language a bit too,” he smiled.

“Of course, there is currently no Italian driver at the top of the World Rally Championship.

“I think people find a bit of peace when they have someone who at least speaks the language and it definitely helps me feel comfortable and very good.


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