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New Spirit of Rallying award created to honour WRC star Craig Breen

The Junior WRC will honour the late World Rally Championship star Craig Breen with the creation of a new award.

WRC crews seen paying tribute to driver Craig Breen

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The ‘Craig Breen Spirit of Rallying Award’ will be awarded to the JWRC driver who, over the course of the season, best embodies Breen’s characteristics: a willingness to overcome adversity, an unwavering determination to take on every obstacle to complete every rally, and an outgoing positive demeanour in their interactions with fellow competitors, marshals and volunteers, media and their engineers and mechanics.

The much-loved Breen, who died in a testing accident in Croatia last April, was a previous winner of the JWRC title in 2011, after claiming a tie-break victory over Estonia’s Egon Kaur.

After winning the JWRC title, Breen continued to rise up the rallying ranks before progressing to the WRC’s top tier, where he scored nine podiums, driving for Citroen, Hyundai and M-Sport-Ford. 

The announcement of the new award arrives on the eve of the new JWRC season, which will welcome a record-breaking 19-car field for the opening round in Sweden this weekend.

Junior WRC manager and M-Sport Poland managing director, Maciej Woda said: “Craig has left an incredible mark on the Junior WRC, first as a competitor and later as a mentor. He always found the time to offer advice and support to our next generation of stars.

“He also holds an incredibly special place in my own memory, as the first champion after the series became run by M-Sport Poland. It is important that we acknowledge his incredible impact on the championship, and we believe this award best honours his legacy.”

An independent judging panel will determine the winner of the award, which will be presented following the final round of the Junior WRC at the Acropolis Rally held from 5-8 September.

Craig Breen, James Fulton, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Craig Breen, James Fulton, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

In addition to this award, Rally Sweden organisers will honour Breen this weekend by renaming the Brattby stage, which was famous won by the Irishman last year on his way to finishing second in what would be his last WRC outing. The stage will now be known as #42 Brattby, utilising Breen’s competition number.

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