Croatia Rally officials have confirmed to DirtFish that serious consideration was given to canceling the event following Craig Breen’s death in the days leading up to the World Rally Championship qualifier.
Breen lost his life in a testing accident on the Thursda, one week out from the ceremonial start in Zagreb.
Chairman of the organizer Daniel Šaškin said: “We were in the final days of our preparation when we got the news. Like you can imagine, nobody ever thought this would happen. Honestly, I never thought I would be so close to somebody’s death like this, it was terrible.
“A complete tragedy.
“I talked with the 10 or 12 people [in the organizing team] here and we talked, of course with the FIA and WRC Promoter. We were seriously thinking to stop the event.
“In the end, Hyundai was talking to us and told us what they were thinking from their side.”
Hyundai Motorsport, as well as Breen’s family and co-driver James Fulton, were in favor of the event going ahead, so Šaškin and his team pressed ahead.
Following the details of the accident, changes were made to the route for the rally.
Šaškin added: “You know, we were so sad for Craig – like everybody in this sport, we loved this guy. We know that this was some kind of a freak accident, but still we were looking at our route and we decided to bring some changes.
“We put around 40 straw bales and some more tires to the outside of corners to try to give some more protection. It’s so difficult.
“Like I said, this was a tragedy and we never want to see this again.”