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WRC Rally Croatia

Toyota picks only two cars for WRC Rally Croatia points in Breen honour

Toyota has elected to nominate only two cars eligible to score World Rally Championship manufacturers’ points at Rally Croatia as a mark of solidarity with WRC teams.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Under WRC regulations teams can register three crews to be eligible to score constructer points, with only the highest-finishing two crews scoring points.

However, following the tragic death of Hyundai driver Craig Breen in testing crash last week leading up to the event, Hyundai will only field two cars this weekend, after deciding to contest the event following careful discussions with Breen’s family, his surviving co-driver James Fulton and the rest of the team.

Hyundai will enter cars for full-time drivers Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi, while M-Sport-Ford continues its 2023 programme of fielding two constructor points-scoring entries for Ott Tanak and Pierre-Louis Loubet.

In response to the tragic events, Toyota has today confirmed that only world rally champion Kalle Rovanpera and eight-time WRC champion Sebastian Ogier will be registered to score manufacturer points in order to level the playing the field.

It means Elfyn Evans won’t be in a position to help score points for the team, with Takamoto Katsuta already entered as non-manufacturer scoring fourth GR Yaris.

“As a mark of solidarity, teams have agreed that only two crews will be nominated as eligible for manufacturers’ points on this rally,” read a post on the Toyota team's social media.

“Our nominated crews will be #17 and #69, with #33 and #18 eligible for drivers’ points as usual.”

Craig Breen, Hyundai World Rally Team

Craig Breen, Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

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Speaking ahead of the decision, Toyota boss 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 real enthusiast for rallying, and we shared the same passion for old rally cars and for the history of our sport. As we prepare for the next rally, our thoughts are with Craig’s family, friends and his colleagues within the service park.”

The service park is awash with tributes to Breen this weekend with all cars running special sticker in honour of the 33-year-old, while Hyundai is running a special Irish tricolour livery on its cars.

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