Team MRF Tyres faces challenging day in Rally Islas Canarias
The weather was the deciding factor on Friday in the FIA European Rally Championship and the Rally Islas Canarias. For Team MRF Tyres and driving duo, Craig Breen and Paul Nagle it provided an ideal opportunity to test and develop the tyres. The day’s running saw nine stages and 98.78km of action with Breen/Nagle starting in 15th after their very strong time in qualifying.
However, the weather was very tricky with very strong winds affecting the stages and each competitor experiencing a different version of weather, some wet, some dry and some with something in-between.
The Gran Canarias tarmac was always going to be a different and new experience for MRF Tyres. With this rally ending the first year for the team in the FIA ERC, the tarmac on the island is very different to what the Championship has experienced earlier in the season. In the wet, the surface was greasy. The changed conditions meant that the opportunity to test and develop for these conditions presented itself and that is where attention turned.
When conditions cleared the team showed their true potential, particularly on SS7, the 11.75km Artenara test where Breen/Nagle took the third fastest time. Attention now turns to the 101.10km and eight stages that make up the Saturday running of Rally Islas Canarias.
Team MRF Tyres came to the European Rally Championship to test, develop and measure themselves against the best rally outfits in Europe. It has allowed aggressive data collection and development and has shown that MRF Tyres can come in a world-class event and be competitive.
Craig Breen (Driver, Hyundai i20 R5) said, “The conditions were very challenging today with some parts of the stages being wet and some being dry. It would change so quickly which meant getting the right setup was a difficult task. That meant that we turned our attention to getting data for the tyres. This is the first time that we have rallied on Gran Canarias and, for us, testing and getting data for the development for MRF Tyres is also important. Tomorrow it looks like the weather will be difficult to predict as well. We will continue to concentrate on our program of data collection.