WRC driver Craig Breen dies in testing accident

McKlein/Motorsport Images

WRC driver Craig Breen dies in testing accident


WRC driver Craig Breen dies in testing accident


World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen has died following a testing accident ahead of next week’s Croatia Rally. He was 33.

Breen, an eight-time podium finisher and 30-time stage winner in the WRC, has been sharing a third Hyundai i20 WRC Rally1 with Dani Sordo for the Korean brand’s factory team this season and was set to make his second start of the campaign in Croatia after previously finishing second in Sweden in February.

In a statement, the Hyundai Motorsport team confirmed that Breen’s co-driver James Fulton was uninjured 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.”

Breen, who also competed for M-Sport Ford and Citroen in his 81 WRC starts, won the 2011 WRC Academy and the 2012 SWRC on his rise up the rallying ranks, and finished in the top three of the European Rally Championship between 2013-15.

Breen was also set to contest this year’s Portuguese Rally Championship — he won the opening round of the season, Rally Serras de Fafe, which was also an ERC round (where he was scored sixth).

A popular driver in the rallying community, he often competed in other events outside the WRC and ERC, including a number of historic rallies, most notably in an MG Metro 6R4. Breen also sampled rallycross in 2019, making five starts in the short-lived TitansRX Europe series, where he impressed with his overtaking ability despite his overall lack of racing experience.