Craig Breen has been left shell-shocked after “one of the worst days” of his career, languishing in 26th place overall having spent all of Rally Poland’s Friday morning stages running with two wheel drive, and then coping with a wayward car when all four wheels were under power in the afternoon loop.
His troubles began on the morning’s opening stage, breaking the right rear driveshaft of his Citroën C3 WRC, which forced him to lock the differential into FWD only mode.
Instead of benefiting from midday service to rectify the issue, it made his car even more unpredictable to drive, and was struggling to deal with his wayward car throughout the afternoon loop.
“This has been one of the worst days of my career,” he contemplated. “I really struggled.
“I’m absolutely petrified all the time. It’s a horrible place to be right now, I feel like I’m going to crash all the time.”
His team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen had benefited from upgrades to the differential before this event, driving the only C3 in the Citroën stable to be fitted with them for Rally Poland. Despite these changes, the Norwegian slid into a tree and lost over a minute, though was much happier with his car’s setup by the end of the day.
“We sorted the suspension a bit better so I don’t get any surprises from the car,” he said during the afternoon loop. “The grip is more constant and the car is swallowing all the bumps much better. I’m happy with the changes we’ve done and the feeling is there.”
Breen is using the same previous specification car as Stéphane Lefebvre, who is currently flying the Citroën flag solo in the points positions, holding 9th place at the end of Friday’s stages. He was rather more optimistic than his Irish team-mate about the state of the C3, having had a solid if unspectacular run through the rutted stages.
“It was a difficult day, but we didn’t make any mistake. The car was quite okay. It was a good day and I did some good times, but we’ll see for tomorrow.”