WRC and FIA retire Breen number

Craig Breen's number 42 has been retired by the WRC and FIA following his recent tragic death

The number 42 has been retired by the WRC and FIA following the recent tragic death of Craig Breen

The #42 run by Craig Breen in the World Rally Championship has been retired for the remainder of the season following the Irish driver’s recent tragic death.

The decision has been taken by the WRC and world motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, as a mark of respect after Breen, 33, succumbed to injuries sustained during an accident last week whilst testing his Hyundai i20 N Rally 1 ahead of this weekend’s latest round in Croatia.

Breen first ran the #42 during his two rallies with Hyundai in 2019, and throughout his full season with M-Sport Ford last year.

The number was most recently seen during his superb drive to second place in the Rally Sweden in February.

Via social media, the WRC stated: “The WRC family, in collaboration with the FIA, has retired the number 42 for the remainder of 2023 as a further tribute to Craig’s memory.”

Hyundai to run special livery for Breen

Hyundai will also pay its own respects to Breen by running just two cars for the event – driven by team-mates Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi – rather than the three as had been planned, as well as running a special livery following the blessing of his family.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that a decision to compete has been an especially difficult one to take, but done so as a fitting tribute to Breen.

Abiteboul said: “After careful consideration involving all stakeholders, we have decided to participate in Croatia Rally.

“We will do this in memory of Craig, to honour him, his passion for rallying, and his competitive spirit.

“We will enter two cars and withdraw the third entry as a mark of respect. Both cars will run with a special livery for Craig, his family, friends, and fans.

“Craig was a proud Irishman and passionate representative of the Irish rally community so the livery will represent the colours of the Irish flag in his memory.

“It is clear from speaking to everyone that the best way to honour Craig’s legacy was not to withdraw our entry, so we participate mindful of our lost team-mate, friend, and incredible competitor.”

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