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WRC Rally Croatia

WRC and FIA retire Craig Breen’s number 42

The World Rally Championship and the FIA have elected to retire the number 42 used by Craig Breen following his death in a testing crash for Rally Croatia last week.

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

The factory Hyundai driver tragically succumbed to injuries in an accident last Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s WRC round in Croatia.

Breen adopted #42 when he joined Hyundai as part-time driver for the first time in 2019 and continued to run the same number during his only full-time season with M-Sport last year, before returning to Hyundai to share the team’s third car for 2023.

OBITUARY: Craig Breen

A combined decision between the WRC and the FIA to retire the #42 for the remainder of the year arrives following an announcement that Hyundai will compete in Croatia this week with a reduced two-car entry following Breen’s death.

Hyundai’s decision was made after consulting with the families of Breen and his co-driver James Fulton, who survived the crash.

It follows a similar move undertaken by the WRC following Ken Block’s death earlier this year, that resulted in the number 43 run by the American being retired.

Craig Breen, Hyundai World Rally Team

Craig Breen, Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Hyundai has also announced that it will run a special livery on its i20 N cars for Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi for the fourth round of the championship.

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It is anticipated that all Rally1 and Rally2 crews will feature tributes to the 33-year-old Irishman.

“On behalf of the FIA, I wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Craig Breen following his passing during a private testing accident in Croatia,” read a statement from FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem following the news of Breen’s death.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the entire Rally community at this difficult time.”

Tributes from around the motorsport fraternity have poured in for the likeable Irishman since last week’s fatal accident.

The funeral is set to take place in his native Ireland at The Sacred Heart Church, Ferrybank on Tuesday at 1pm.

The mass will be streamed here for those that are unable to attend.

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