Hyundai Motorsport driver Craig Breen has been killed in a testing accident. Hyundai was conducting a pre-event test on asphalt roads in Croatia before the FIA World Rally Championship round there next week. According to DirtFish, Breen went off the road and his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 collided with a pole. The 33-year-old Irishman was fatally injured in the crash while his co-driver was unharmed. The incident is being investigated by Croatian authorities and Hyundai.
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Breen was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1990. He started his racing career in karting before moving to rallying in 2009. Breen entered and won the WRC Academy championship in 2011, with class wins in Rallye Deutschland and Wales Rally GB. Breen made his top-class WRC debut with Citroën in 2016. Over his career, he finished on the podium eight times with 30 stage wins.
Breen joined the M-Sport World Rally Team last year, the first season with the current hybrid Rally1 regulations. The Irishman finished 3rd during the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo, scoring one more podium during the 2022 season and finishing seventh in the championship. Breen moved to Hyundai in 2023 to contest a part-time WRC campaign.
Hyundai released the following statement after the incident:
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.
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.