After a collision in Croatia, Craig Breen, an Irish rally driver, has been killed at the age of 33.
Breen competed for Hyundai and was taking part in a pretest event in Croatia in preparation for the latest round.
According to reports, his car may have veered off the road and collided against a pole while he was preparing to attend his second rally next week.
Hyundai Motorsport released a statement confirming that Craig Breen died today following an accident at the pre-event test for Croatia Rally.
According to the team, James Fulton, co-driver of the vehicle, was not injured in the accident that occurred just after noon local time.
Twitter trended “RIP Craig” as tributes to Breen were made.
Hayden Paddon (new Zealand rally driver, Hyundai ambassador) described Paddon as a “legendary human being and driver” and tweeted: “The sport would be poorer without your leadership.” My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones at this terrible time.
World Rally Championship tweeted: “The WRC Family is shocked and saddened by Craig Breen’s death.”
“Our condolences and thoughts are with Craig’s family at this very sad time.”
Aiden Harper, president of Motorsport Ireland, stated in a statement that the “tragic news” has numbed the Irish motorsport community.
“Craig was both a world-class driver and a great person.”
Breen began his career as a codriver, before he switched to driving in 2008.
After a year spent with M-Sport Ford, he finished second at Rally Sweden in Feb. He made his return to the team as a part-time driver.
In six rallies, he was second.
Breen is the first fatality at the world championship since Joerg Bastuck, a German junior driver, died in 2006 Rally of Catalunya.