Craig Breen and Paul Nagle finish fifth in the second round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) followed closely by Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen
Team MRF Tyres took the fifth and sixth spot in their first outing at the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in a gravel dominated rally round. The team ran two cars – piloted by Craig Breen and Paul Nagle in the Hyundai i20 R5, and Emil Lindholm (driver) and Mikael Korhonen in a Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo.
The Sunday leg of Rally Liepaja consisted of six stages in two loops, spanning 87.7km. The teams competed on dusty gravel roads in warm, sunny weather. Traction seemed to improve with each surpassing stage of the rally, as cars weathered the track.
After an overnight service on Saturday, Craig and Paul finished SS5 in fifth on Sunday, but dropped to sixth place in the following stage. The crew lost 56 seconds in SS7 due to issue. However, the duo made better pace in SS8, and managed to set the second-best time, leading to a consolidated fifth place in the round, 1.5sec behind the winners.
Emil and Mikael participated in both the ERC, as well as the ERC1 Junior Championship. The Finnish duo finished second in ERC1 Junior and took the sixth spot in the ERC, 1.8sec behind Craig and Paul, despite a jump that lead them into a field in the early stages.
“We are pushing the tyres to the limits and we are aggressive on the development of the tyre. The MRF Tyres are durable and it is important to learn develop the tyres. We are happy with the direction of the development of the tyres”, said Craig.
Emil, the Fabia driver said, “We wanted to make sure we got to the end of this rally. After our moment in the morning, our focus certainly turned to consolidating our sixth place and gaining data. Saying that, we did have some good pace through the weekend.” He went on to say, “It was also important to get the points in ERC1 Junior. We finished second in that class, which is quite a positive result for us and Team MRF Tyres!”
The next stage of the ERC will be held from September 17 to 19 at Azores, located in the Portuguese Islands.