Hyundai World Rally driver Craig Breen has died after an accident during a pre-event test ahead of Rally Croatia.
Breen, 33, had been preparing for the outing for Hyundai in his i20 Rally1, which was set to be his second of his new contract with Hyundai for 2023.
Hyundai Motorsport confirmed the tragedy in a brief statement on Thursday afternoon:
‘Hyundai Motorsport is deeply saddened to confirm that driver Craig Breen today lost his life following an accident during the pre-event test for Croatia Rally’, read a statement. Co-driver James Fulton was unharmed in the incident that occurred just after midday local time’.
No further details about the accident were release.
‘Hyundai Motorsport sends its sincerest condolences to Craig’s family, friends and his many fans. Hyundai Motorsport will make no further comment at this time’.
Breen landed a top-flight WRC chance with Citroen in 2016, taking a podium at that year’s Rally Finland, before finishing runner-up at Rally Sweden in 2018.
He started only nine rallies across 2019-21 but claimed podium finishes on four of those events, three of them in second place.
Breen switched to M-Sport Ford for 2022, contesting the full season, and added another two podiums to his tally, including the runner-up position in Rally Sardegna.
For 2023 Breen returned to Hyundai, alternating duties behind the wheel of the third i20 with veteran Dani Sordo, and claimed second place on his sole outing in Rally Sweden.
“On behalf of the FIA, I extend sincere condolences to the family & friends of Craig Breen following his passing during a private testing accident,” said FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. “Our thoughts & prayers are with his loved ones & the Rally community at this difficult time
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