Junior WRC ‘Spirit of Rallying’ Award set to honour Craig Breen

craig breen

Former FIA Junior WRC champion and stalwart supporter of grassroots rallying Craig Breen will be honoured by the Junior WRC championship this season, with the announcement of the Craig Breen Spirit of Rallying Award.

Announced today (13 February) ahead of the opening round of the 2024 FIA Junior WRC season, which takes this weekend on the snow-covered roads of Sweden, the Craig Breen Spirit of Rallying Award winner will be selected from the 2024 junior field, which stands at a record-breaking 19 entrants for this opening round.

It will be awarded to the driver who, over the course of the season, best embodies Breen’s finest characteristics: a willingness to overcome adversity, an unwavering determination to take on every obstacle to complete every rally, and an outgoing positive demeanor in their interactions with fellow competitors, marshals and volunteers, media and their engineers and mechanics.

The award is an appropriate honour for Irishman Breen, who was universally loved for his never-give-up attitude. It was this approach that saw him clinch the 2011 title, fighting until the final stage in Great Britain to claim a tie-break victory over Estonia’s Egon Kaur.

Following on from his championship-winning junior career, Breen went on to compete at the elite level of rallying for manufacturers including Citroën, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford, claiming a total of nine top-flight podiums.

Breen tragically lost his life on 13 April 2023 at the age of 33, leaving a gaping void in the sport his life had revolved around since childhood.

M-Sport Poland Managing Director and Junior WRC manager Maciej Woda said: “Craig has left an incredible mark on the Junior WRC, first as a competitor and later as a mentor. He always found the time to offer advice and support to our next generation of stars.

“He also holds an incredibly special place in my own memory, as the first champion after the series became run by M-Sport Poland. It is important that we acknowledge his incredible impact on the championship, and we believe this award best honours his legacy.”

The award recipient will be decided by an independent judging panel and will be announced following the fifth and final round of the 2024 Junior WRC series, set to take place at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece from 5 – 8 September.