An emotional affair A tribute to Irish Rally Star Craig Breen

April 27, 2023

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Written by: Chris Hosie

This Article is one of a different nature than ones I’ve written before. It will feature the results of WRC Rally Croatia. However, the tone will have a very different feel. As it is more of a tribute to a rally star who, in the days before the event, was taken too soon.

The fourth round of the World Rally Championship took place on the tarmac of Croatia. However, in the week prior to the event, the WRC and wider rally community was hit by the tragic and sudden passing of Ireland’s Craig Breen. The Irishman losing his life in a testing accident the previous weekend. The rally went on with heavy hearts for all those who took part.

After three days of action, Elfyn Evans came out on top in the Rally1 and overall classifications. With Ott Tanak scoring another podium for Ford. Yohan Rossel took the honours in WRC2, followed by a train of Toksport Skodas. And finally, Eamonn Kelly took an emotional victory in the Junior WRC with the Irishman profiting from the demise of initial class leaders William Creighton and Laurent Pellier. All the wining crews paying their respects to their fallen Irish star. 

As a driver, Craig Breen was someone who always gave 110% every time he got behind the wheel. Whatever the car, whatever surface, Craig was always able to push a car to its limits and was always in the hunt for victory. His career has been marked by many highs and lows. However, his strong will and passion for the sport never ceased to fail him.

Off stage he was a very approachable and engaging personality. I had met Craig a few times over the years and whenever I did, he was always up for a chat or an interview. He was always happy to spend time with the press and his fans to the same extent as he enjoyed doing what he loved to do. Which was, of course, rallying.

He was a super exciting, energetic, emotional and talented driver who will be sadly missed by all who knew him and competed with him. For Portugal, Kris Meeke, former Citroen star, will step in as Craig’s replacement for this and the rest of the 2023 season. In a statement to journalist Gerard Quinn he said:

“My decision was not made lightly. I accepted because it was my desire to get back into racing. But I also thought what Craig would tell me, and I know he would tell me to accept. This is how I will honour him.”

The next round will take place on the 11th to 14th of May for the Vodaphone Rally Portugal. Where the WRC will move on for round 5 with the memory of a star, full of promise and talent, who was taken too soon from the world and the sport he loved.




Craig Breen



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