Neuville leading the WRC Rally Croatia: In honor of colleague Breen

Hyundai Motorsport is flying the Irish flag at Rally Croatia this weekend in honor of its driver Craig Breen, who sadly lost his life in pre-rally testing last week.

Hyundai Motorsport, in agreement with the Breen family, has decided to still compete at Rally Croatia, the fourth round of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2023, to pay tribute to Craig Breen, who died in a pre-rally test last week.

The Hyundai team was joined by the entire WRC community on Thursday to remember Craig and reflect on his life and passion for rallying, along with his close friends and co-driver James Fulton. As a sign of respect for a beloved colleague, Hyundai Motorsport is participating in the rally in Croatia with a special car design in the colors of the Irish flag, for Craig.

In addition, a real sporting move was made by Toyota Gazoo Racing, which, as a sign of respect for Breen and its rivals from Hyundai, decided to run for points in Croatia with only two cars, instead of three.

Firmly in the thoughts and memories of Craig, the rally began on Friday morning with the opening of the stage, which consists of four asphalt speed tests: Mali Lipovec – Grdanjci (SS1/SS5, 19.20km), Stojdraga – Hartje (SS2/SS6, 25.67km ), Krašić – Vršovac (SS3/SS7, 11.11km) and Pećurkovo Brdo – Mrežnički (SS4/SS8, 9.11km).

Fittingly, Hyundai Motorsport duo Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe took an early lead with stage wins in SS2. In the afternoon, the lead of the Belgians was reduced to 5.7 seconds, but the day still ended at the top of the overall ranking. Lappi scored a stage win in SS6, briefly rising to third place; the Finnish crew eventually finished fourth on Friday, 3.4 seconds off the provisional podium positions.

Rally Croatia continues today, and as in previous years, due to the very demanding conditions and surface, it will be uncertain until the very end.

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