Talented Breen’s death a ‘profound loss’ for Hyundai and whole rallying community

Hyundai Motorsport, and the whole rallying community, are feeling the profound loss of its well-regarded team member and friend Craig Breen, who died in a rally accident last week, says Mr Sean Kim, president of Hyundai Motorsport.

In a statement after the death of Breen, who has been a very popular member of Hyundai Motorsport’s World Rally Championship team, Kim says the reality of the tragedy “had still not sunk in, and it is unlikely to for a very long time”. 

Breen (33), from Waterford in the south of Ireland, and his co-driver, James Fulton, were involved in the accident on Thursday 13 April while preparing for the coming weekend’s Croatia Rally, the 4th round in the 2023 World Rally Championship. Fulton is unhurt in the crash, which happened when their car left the road in a test run.

“Everyone here in Alzenau (at Frankfurt, Germany, where the team headquarters is situated) is feeling the loss of our team-mate and friend Craig deeply, and we are supporting our colleagues through this incredibly difficult time,” said Kim.
“To say he was a much valued and well-regarded member of our team only touches the surface. Craig had a passion for rallying that ran deep. He was more than just a driver – he was a true lover of the sport. Craig wore his heart on his sleeve, something that enamoured him to so many people. He had a way with words that was completely unique; his end-of-stage quotes were always a highlight.
“Craig was also a phenomenal driver. There are so many highlights, both within our team and in the rest of his career, but in Rally Sweden he showed us his true essence. He was performing at the top of his game and reminding us all of the incredible talent he possessed. That podium finish meant a lot to us as a team, but you could see just how much it meant to him.
“It is clear the whole rallying community and beyond is feeling this profound loss. The outpouring of grief and sadness in the past day is testament to the man that Craig was. He leaves behind a legacy within Hyundai Motorsport and the wider motorsport community that is difficult to put into words. Rest in peace, dear friend,” said Kim.

Dani Sordo, one of Breen’s team-mates at Hyundai Motorsport, said on his Twitter page it was “impossible to get you out of my head, friend! How cruel and hard is life!”

“Yesterday it was very hard to see how the mechanics covered your car for Croatia, it was already ready and prepared… With your name on the window… 

“You know that you are loved very much and we will always remember you with that smile and talking about cars and rallies. You knew everything because I don't think I've ever met someone with such a passion for driving racing cars.

“Rest in peace Craig. ❤️”

Breen first raced for Hyundai Motorsport on a part-time basis from 2019 to 2021, and scored four podium finishes for the team in the nine rallies that he contested. After a year with M-Sport in 2022, Breen returned to Hyundai in 2023. His best result this year was second place in Rally Sweden.