Irish World Rally Championship driver, Craig Breen, has tragically passed away following a crash in Croatia as part of testing for the upcoming Rally Croatia.
The 33-year-old was preparing for his second round of the season, following a second-place finish at Rally Sweden, his joint-best finish in the Championship.
After starting his career in karting, he made the switch to rallying in 2009, taking his first British Rally Championship victory the following year, winning the Ulster Rally in Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Hyundai Motorsport, who Breen competed in the series for, released a statement confirming the sad news as well as saying his co-driver wasn’t injured in the crash:
“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 the statement.
“Co-driver James Fulton was unharmed in the incident that occurred just after midday local time.
“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.
The World Raly Championship released a short statement:
The WRC family is shocked and saddened to learn of Craig Breen’s passing.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Craig at this incredibly sad time.”
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem also expressed his condolences on behalf of the FIA:
“I extend sincere condolences to the family & friends of Craig Breen following his passing during a private testing accident in Croatia.
“Our thoughts & prayers are with his loved ones & the Rally community at this difficult time.”