A good week after the death drive of its Irish driver Craig Breen during tests for the Rally Croatia, the Hyundai team has confirmed its participation in the fourth round of the World Championship starting Thursday in the Balkan state.
“We made this decision in memory of Craig after careful consideration and discussions with Craig’s family, his co-driver, our motorsport department and the team members,” said the South Koreans: “We want Craig, his passion for rallying and his honor ambition.”
Breen died in an accident near the Croatian city of Zlatar last week. According to the accident investigators, the cause of his death was the great force with which the 33-year-old’s vehicle was thrown against a solid wooden pole after turning. Breen’s co-driver James Fulton was unharmed in the accident.
“Craig’s family and James have made it clear that it is their express wish that the team compete in Craig’s honor in Croatia,” the company said in a statement.
No third Hyundai vehicle “out of respect”
In the current World Championship season, Breen had alternated with the Spaniard Dani Sordo as driver of the third Hyundai. His best result of the season was second place in the Sweden Rally in February.
According to further Hyundai information, the Asians will not start a third vehicle in Croatia “out of respect”. The two participating cars should therefore receive “a special paint job for Craig, his family, friends and fans” for the hunt for World Cup points in Croatia.
The World Automobile Federation (FIA) also expressed its sorrow for the pilot from the Emerald Isle, who had also been at the wheel for Peugeot, Citroen and Ford in his 81 World Championship races, in a special way. As the FIA announced at the beginning of the week, Breen’s starting number 42 this year will not be given to any other driver until the end of the current World Championship season.