MATTON: BREEN GOOD ENOUGH FOR 2017 SEAT

But Citroen boss can’t guar­an­tee the Ir­ish­man a drive

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Photos: mck­lein-im­age­database.com

Citroen chief Yves Matton says Craig Breen’s Rally Fin­land podium should be enough to guar­an­tee him a fac­tory seat in next year’s World Rally Cham­pi­onship – just not nec­es­sar­ily in a C3 WRC.

Breen drove to a ca­reer-best third place in Jy­vaskyla, de­spite Rally Fin­land be­ing just his third ever drive in an Abu Dhabi World Rally Team DS 3 WRC.

Matton says the re­sult will not al­ter his plans or his think­ing for the rest of this year or for next sea­son.

“The pro­gramme is fixed,” Matton told MN, “this re­sult won’t bring any more ral­lies for Craig or for the team. Craig has driven a very good rally, I ex­pected him to be fast here af­ter what he showed in Poland, but what I was also pleased with is the con­sis­tency he showed as well.

“Next year, there will be 15 seats [in fac­tory World Rally Cars]. For next year, he can ex­pect to be in one of those cars. He can be one of the 15. But for us, I haven’t made a de­ci­sion. I think the [po­ten­tial] drivers are happy to wait. By the end of the month, I want to have the list of 10 down to four or five drivers.”

On hear­ing Matton’s com­ments, Breen said: “Of course, I’m hon­oured and re­ally chuffed that he said that. I just re­ally want to stay where I am be­cause I ab­so­lutely love where I am. I know it’s a pri­vate team this sea­son, but I love work­ing with the fac­tory on the new car – ev­ery­thing fits me like a glove now.”

Breen’s team-mate and rally win­ner Meeke was de­lighted for his fel­low Emer­ald Is­lan­der, say­ing: “It’s an in­cred­i­ble job by Craig. To be in front of a lot more ex­pe­ri­enced drivers, he de­serves a lot of credit.”

Breen con­grat­u­lated by Matton

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