Irish duo to move on after three successful years
At the end of the current WRC season we will be saying goodbye to Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, with the Irishmen moving to M-Sport for the 2022 campaign. The pair played a part in delivering us our 2019 and 2020 manufacturers’ titles and will be sorely missed by all at Hyundai Motorsport.
“I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Craig and Paul for their hard work and dedication since joining us in 2019,” said our Team Principal Andrea. “Across three seasons, they have proven to be valuable team players and have contributed to our recent manufacturers’ title successes.”
“I have been working towards achieving a full-time seat in the WRC since I was a little boy, so this was an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down,” said Craig. “It is with great sadness that we can’t continue with Hyundai Motorsport, but what an amazing story it has been.”
Craig and Paul joined us in the summer of 2019, making their WRC debut for the team on the fast gravel roads of Rally Finland. After also competing at Wales Rally GB that season, they were part of the celebrations in Australia as we secured our first ever manufacturers’ title.
In 2020, the Irishmen clinched their first podium in our i20 Coupe WRC, finishing second at Rally Estonia to complete a 1-2 for the team. The result played an essential role in the retention of our manufacturers’ championship that year.
This season the Irish crew has put in some impressive performances on the WRC circuit, claiming back-to-back second place finishes in Rally Estonia and Ypres Rally Belgium, before adding a third consecutive podium result in Rally Finland.
In addition to being part of our WRC operations, Craig and Paul have been valuable assets for our Customer Racing department. In 2019, the Irish duo dominated the Ulster Rally with our i20 R5, their first outing with the car, and were crowned Irish Tarmac Champions. Last year, they participated in the ERC with the aim of helping the development of tyre manufacturer MRF, as well as being involved in the testing phase of our i20 N Rally2.
In 2021, they started several events with the i20 R5 and took victory in the iconic Rallye Sanremo, the first round of the Italian Rally Championship. They also brought home a fantastic second place at the Rally Liepāja in the ERC.
“Hyundai gave us our lifeline, a platform on which we could perform and show what we could do. We’ve had a few rollercoaster moments along the way, as well as many highlights,” said Craig. “We part ways on the best of terms, having had an amazing experience and making lots of friends along the way. We now look forward to the future with gratitude and excitement.”
“They are two fully focused individuals and form a potent, professional partnership,” added Andrea. “They have always been there for us when we needed them, and we wish them all the best for the future.”