The Craig Breen Foundation: A Driving Force for Young Rally Talent

The Craig Breen Foundation: A Driving Force for Young Rally Talent

In memory of Craig Breen’s legacy, the Craig Breen Foundation is committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of rally drivers.


Ireland has always been synonymous with rallying, and for Craig Breen, the sport held a special place in his heart. Inspired by his childhood hero, Frank Meagher, Breen’s passion for Irish rallying was well-known. However, as the years went by, Breen began to look beyond his own success and towards the future of the sport. In April of this year, Breen took a significant step in that direction by establishing the Craig Breen Foundation, with the aim of providing substantial and sustainable support to young rally drivers.

The Birth of an IdeaCraig Breen's future in the 2022 World Rally Championship with the M-Sport  Ford Puma Rally Car - YouTube

The inception of the Craig Breen Foundation came about through a conversation between Breen and his close friend, Andrew Fanning. Fanning had mentioned the Irish J1000 Rally Series, which piqued Breen’s interest. Rather than simply attending the event, Breen wanted to go a step further and create an initiative that would help nurture and develop young talent in the sport. With the guidance of Breen’s father, Ray, Fanning, and family friend Andy Hayes, the foundation took shape.

Fanning recalls the moment when Breen’s determination to make a difference became evident: “I sent Craig a message about the J1000 training day around nine or 10 in the evening. At seven the next morning, the phone rang. It was Craig. I was trying to pretend I’d been up for hours, while he was telling me he’d been thinking about the J1000 thing. He didn’t just want to go for the day, he wanted to set up some funding and come up with a plan to help the young drivers.”

A Vision for the Future

Breen’s commitment to the Craig Breen Foundation was rooted in his desire to give back to the sport and the people who had supported him throughout his career. Fanning reflects on Breen’s mindset: “He said to me: ‘Andrew, I’ve achieved so much with the help of people and motorsport in Ireland – I want to give something back, something to help the youngsters.'” This sentiment was characteristic of Breen’s approach – he wanted to ensure that the foundation would make a lasting impact on the rally community.

The Impact of a Day at Tynagh

One pivotal day stands out in the early stages of the Craig Breen Foundation’s journey – a day spent at the Tynagh kart track. Breen brought along Ray’s Subaru Legacy, not only for a test session but also to provide an unforgettable experience for the young drivers of the J1000 series. Fanning recalls the excitement and joy that filled the air: “The J1000 drivers just loved it!”

The experience at Tynagh reinforced Breen’s conviction that the foundation needed to go beyond a one-time event. It needed to provide ongoing financial support and opportunities for young drivers to develop their skills and excel in the world of rallying.

Hyundai Motorsport’s Support

The Craig Breen Foundation found a strong ally in Hyundai Motorsport, who shared Breen’s vision for supporting young talent. In the next year’s J1000 Forestry series, Hyundai Motorsport has committed to providing funding of €35,000. This financial support will give young drivers the opportunity to participate in the all-gravel 2024 series, with a chance to win a share of a €16,000 purse for their 2025 programs.

In addition to financial support, the championship winner of the J1000 Forestry series will be rewarded with a funded drive on a Spanish/Portuguese Hyundai i20 Cup round. This unique opportunity allows the winner to showcase their skills on an international stage. The Hyundai i20 Cup car will be provided and run by Ze Pedro Fontes’s firm, Sports & You, with support from Hyundai Spain and Hyundai Portugal.

Investing in Skill DevelopmentBreen won't "re-invent the wheel" to get WRC 2022 back on track

The Craig Breen Foundation recognizes the importance of skill development in nurturing young rally talent. To further enhance the learning experience for the top two drivers in the championship, they will enjoy a day of tuition at John Haughland’s Rally School. Haughland’s expertise and guidance will help these drivers refine their techniques and push their abilities to the next level.

Additionally, the top three championship finishers will receive a day of pacenote tuition from Breen’s long-time co-driver, Paul Nagle. Nagle’s insights and knowledge will be invaluable in helping these young drivers master the art of navigating the challenging rally stages.

A Five-Year Commitment

The establishment of the Craig Breen Foundation marks the beginning of a long-term commitment to supporting young rally talent. Fanning emphasizes the importance of making Breen’s vision a reality: “We know this is what Craig would have wanted to do. We talked about it, and it’s so, so important that we make his vision come true.”

In addition to Hyundai Motorsport’s support, the foundation is grateful to all the companies, organizations, and individuals who have already shown their support. With a five-year commitment in place, the foundation is actively seeking further partnerships and funding opportunities to ensure the sustainability and growth of their initiatives.

Joining the JourneyWRC: Remembering Craig Breen's Talent, Passion & Legacy

The Craig Breen Foundation welcomes collaboration and invites individuals and organizations interested in honoring Craig Breen’s legacy to join them on this meaningful journey. Fanning expresses the foundation’s openness to partnership: “We would be happy to hear from people interested in joining us on this journey in honoring Craig’s legacy.”

By working together, the foundation aims to inspire and empower the next generation of rally drivers, ensuring that Craig Breen’s passion for the sport lives on.


The Craig Breen Foundation stands as a testament to the enduring impact of Craig Breen’s legacy. Through its initiatives and partnerships, the foundation is committed to nurturing young rally talent and providing them with the support and opportunities they need to succeed.

With Hyundai Motorsport’s backing and a five-year commitment, the foundation is poised to make a significant difference in the lives of aspiring rally drivers. By investing in training, providing financial support, and fostering skill development, the foundation aims to secure the future of Irish rallying and honor Breen’s vision.

As the rallying community comes together to support the Craig Breen Foundation, it paves the way for a new generation of talented drivers who will carry the torch forward and continue the legacy of Irish rallying excellence.