Hyundai Motorsport driver Craig Breen has led tributes to Team Abu Dhabi founder Ron Cremen, who passed away on Tuesday.
Cremen, who had been suffering from cancer, was a driving force in helping Breen land a seat with Citroën Racing for the 2016 season.
Breen told DirtFish: “I have an awful lot to thank Ron Cremen for. He was the guy who put me forward for the drive with Citroën. I hadn’t seen Ron for a while, what with COVID and everything else and it totally took the wind out of the sails when I heard the news [of his passing].
“What a lovely, lovely man. He was such a softly spoken fella, an absolute gent and I don’t know anybody anywhere who would have had a bad word to say about Ron Cremen. It was a pleasure to be on rallies with him.
“There would always be a bit of a story from Ron and I really enjoyed the time with him. It’s a sad day.”
As well as managing Abu Dhabi’s sponsorship of the M-Sport Ford and Citroën teams and overseeing Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi’s participation in the world championship, Cremen was well known as a competitor.
His last Middle East Rally Championship campaign was 20 years ago, when he placed a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer in the top 10 on three rounds of the FIA Regional series.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Ron Cremen today. Ron was a fantastic Aussie competitor as well as one of the best team managers around. Most importantly he was a lovely man and I always enjoyed my time talking with him. Sincere condolences to Ron’s family. RIP my friend pic.twitter.com/1vG6oVgDM8
— Colin Clark (@voiceofrally) September 14, 2021
It was as a competitor that Cremen first met M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson.
“It was the 2GO Rally in Sydney in 1984 that I first met him,” said Wilson.
“Ron was involved with that rally and helped get me over there. He was always a totally genuine, honest and very straightforward person to work with. He will definitely be missed from the sport he loved.”
DirtFish sends its condolences to Cremen’s family and many friends in and around the world of motorsport.