Craig Breen, an Irish rally car driver who was driving for Hyundai Motorsport, died in a pre-event test in Croatia, the team said in a statement on Thursday. Breen was 33 years old.

Breen’s co-driver, James Fulton, was uninjured in the accident.

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Craig Breen and James Fulton during the FIA ​​ERC Rallye Serras De Fafe, in Fafe, Portugal, on March 10, 2023. (Bruno Peñas Fernández/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Breen, who drove in the World Rally Championship (WRC), went off the road while preparing for next week’s Rally Croatia, according to Motorsport.com. His vehicle reportedly hit a pole.

«Hyundai Motorsport is deeply saddened to confirm that driver Craig Breen lost his life today following an accident during pre-event testing for Rally Croatia,» the team said in a statement.

«Hyundai Motorsport sends its deepest condolences to Craig’s family, friends and many fans.»

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Craig Breen and James Fulton race their Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid during the FIA ​​World Rally Championship on February 10, 2023 in Umea, Sweden.

Craig Breen and James Fulton race their Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid during the FIA ​​World Rally Championship on February 10, 2023 in Umea, Sweden. (Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

The WRC added separately: «At this sad time, the thoughts of the WRC family are with Craig’s loved ones. WRC Promoter extends his deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.»

Breen was sixth in the 2023 standings in three races.

He was the son of former champion Ray Breen and began his career in karting racing in Ireland. He switched to rally driving in 2009.

He had one championship, eight podium finishes and 30 stage wins during his WRC career.

Craig Breen during the second round of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship on February 9, 2023 in Hakmark, Sweden.

Craig Breen during the second round of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship on February 9, 2023 in Hakmark, Sweden. (Micke Fransson/TT/AFP News Agency via Getty Images)

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Breen’s WRC profile described him as «a charismatic Irishman who wears his heart on his sleeve and has a penchant for delivering one-liners to waiting media».