MUNICH (AP) — Rally driver Craig Breen died in an accident Thursday during a test event ahead of a world championship race in Croatia, his team said.

The full circumstances of the death of the 33-year-old Irish driver were not immediately clear.

«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. statement. “Copilot James Fulton was uninjured in the incident which occurred just after noon local time. Hyundai Motorsport sends its sincerest condolences to Craig’s family, friends and many fans. Hyundai Motorsport will have no further comment at this time.»

Breen had competed in World Rally Championship events since 2009 for various teams. The event in Croatia was scheduled to start next week.

Craig Breen of Ireland celebrates on the podium on June 5, 2022 in Alghero.Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images file

«On behalf of the FIA, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Craig Breen following his death during a private test accident in Croatia,» said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the FIA’s governing body. «Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the entire Rally community at this difficult time.»

Breen was the son of a former Irish national rally champion and began his career in karting. He won several rally titles at various levels of national and international competitions, and was a regular podium finisher in the World Rally Championship. In 2012, he was involved in a rally accident in Italy that killed his co-driver, Gareth Roberts.

“The Irish motorsport community is numbed by this tragic news,” Motorsport Ireland Chairman Aidan Harper said in a statement. «Craig was a world class driver and a world class person.»