Hyundai to run Breen tribute livery, WRC retire number 42

Hyundai Motorsport has announced that it will wrap its two i20 N Rally1 cars in a one-off livery for this week’s Croatia Rally as a mark of respect to Craig Breen following his sudden death.
Hyundai to run Breen tribute livery, WRC retire number 42

Breen succumbed to the injuries he sustained last Thursday when the car he was driving near Zlatar left the road and struck a wooden fence, although the exact cause of the incident remains unclear.

The decision to take part in round four of the FIA World Rally Championship comes following support from the Irishman’s family and co-driver James Fulton, who escaped the testing accident unhurt.

Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said that “careful consideration” had been given over the course of the weekend, and that after lengthy discussions, it was felt competing in the Baltic State was the most suitable way to remember Breen.

“We will do this in memory of Craig, to honour him, his passion for rallying and his competitive spirit,” explained the Frenchman.

“We will enter two cars and withdraw the third [Craig’s] entry as a mark of respect. Both cars will run with a special livery for Craig, his family, friends and fans.

“It is clear from speaking to everyone that the best way to honour Craig’s legacy was not to withdraw our entry, so we participate mindful of our lost team-mate, friend and incredible competitor.”

Abiteboul has confirmed the livery, which has not yet been made public, “will represent the colours of the Irish flag in his memory” given that Breen was “a proud Irishman and passionate representative of the Irish rally community”.

33-year-old Breen – a nine-time World Rally Championship podium finisher – will be laid to rest tomorrow afternoon following a Service of Thanksgiving at the Sacred Heart Church in Ferrybank.

Cars participating at Croatia Rally are expected to run with a mark of respect to Breen, with many of the crews, and personnel based at the Zagreb service park, intending to wear black armbands.

Paying his respects and summing up the present mood of the World Rally community, Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal Jari-Matti Latvala said: “Along with the rest of the WRC family, we are truly saddened following the sudden loss of Craig Breen.

“As well as being a top driver, Craig was a rea enthusiast for rallying and we shared the same passion for old rally cars and the history of the sport.

“As we prepare for the next rally, our thoughts are with Craig’s family, friends and his colleagues within the service park,” he added. 

The World Rally Championship and FIA has also elected to retire the number 42 used by Breen. 

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