MRF Racing announces six-car assault on 2023 European Rally Championship
After a breakthrough season in the European Rally Championship last year, MRF Racing is back with a bang for the 2023 ERC, with a six-car assault on the championship with two teams. The Indian tyre manufacturer and long-time supporter of the motorsport dream has been grinding in the championship for years, mimicking Sysiphus as it toiled to make the perfect rally tyres. Last year, the effort paid off, as Team MRF Tyres won the drivers and team championships, dominating the toughest rally championship outside of the World Rally Championship. For this year, MRF is leaving no stone unturned and has prepared the absolute best in the business.
For Team MRF Tyres, champions Efrén Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernández return, driving the new Skoda Fabia RS. They will be joined by Mārtiņš Sesks and co-driver Renars Francis in a similar Fabia RS on the other side of the garage. Providing backup is the duo of Simone Campedelli and co-driver Tania Canton, driving a Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo.
Meanwhile, the MRF Tyres Dealer Team has its own designs for the championship, with WRC rally winner Mads Østberg and co-driver Patrik Barth driving a Citroen C3, while their teammates Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Julia Thulin rock a Ford Fiesta. Young drivers Andrea Mabellini and Virginia Lenzi will also join the team, driving a Skoda Fabia. Meanwhile, Andrea Nucita will enter a Hyundai i20N as a separate entry.
Vice Chairman and Managing Director of MRF Tyres, Arun Mammen, said, “We at MRF Tyres cherish the high level of performance which our drivers bring to the table as it pushes us to keep continuously developing our products. This year, it is quite pleasing to note that we also have a number of customers participating in the ERC. Good luck to all.”
WRC Winner Mads Østberg said, “The Citroën is a car that I know well, but the new factor is, of course, my partnership with MRF Tyres, which I find really interesting, It’s highly motivating for me to compete with such a motivated brand that has the intentions to do really well, and I hope we can have good success together.”, adding, “Of course, we want to try and win the championship. I’m really happy to compete in the ERC. I didn’t take part in any big championships last year, but I’m really looking forward to it and I feel really motivated."
Our only wish would be to see an Indian driver in one of those cars, turning up to hit the podium every stage! One can only imagine what a certain Gaurav Gill would have done in these cars in his prime. However, with two teams as strong as those, one would be extremely unwise to bet against this mighty Indian juggernaut which is wreaking havoc on European rally stages.