Hyundai bring Breen in for Loeb in Sweden

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Paris (AFP)

Sebastien Loeb has been dropped from the Hyundai lineup for the second round of the World Rally Championship in Sweden on February 13-16, the team announced on Monday.

Hyundai had originally named the 45-year-old Frenchman as one of their drivers but have replaced him with Irishman Craig Breen.

Estonian Ott Tanak, who is reigning world champion, and Belgian Thierry Neuville will drive the other two cars.

"We have taken the decision to add Craig to our line-up for Rally Sweden alongside Thierry and Ott in a bid to field the most competitive package possible for the event with the best available options for road position," said Team Principal Andrea Adamo.

"We opted to bring in Craig based on his performance in Sweden in 2018 when he finished in second place, and the potential he showed in our i20 Coupe WRC last season."

As in 2019, Loeb has agreed to lineup in six races with Hyundai this season.

He finished sixth in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally as Neuville won while Tanak crashed out.

The Swedish rally is in doubt because of adverse weather conditions.

"We have been forced to postpone our planned pre-event test in Sweden, due to take place this week, because of a lack of snow and ice currently in the region," Hyundai said.