The final day of competition in the FIA European Rally Championship resulted in strong stage times and important data collection for Team MRF Tyres at the Rally Islas Canarias. The weather on Gran Canarias continued to be fickle and impossible to predict.
The ambient temperature was consistent at around 15-20 degrees but wind and rain meant that the stage conditions would change from the start to the finish of the stage, meaning deciding upon the setup a difficult task
Craig Breen and Paul Nagle took the final opportunity of the season to get more tyre data for the development of future MRF Tyres. till, the Irish duo were able to make up considerable time on the leader board, taking a top 10 result.
The day’s running saw eight stages and a little over 100 kilometres of competitive action. The rally was run under strict Covid conditions without spectators.
The enthusiasm from the locals on Gran Canarias and the team could not be dampened with a strong online audience following the action and fight from Breen/Nagle. They fought their way though the pack, making the most of their experience in difficult conditions.
In the end, Breen and Nagle took 10th overall, 2:33.0 off the eventual winner, Adrian Fourmaux and Renaud Jamoul. They were just 0.6 seconds from Luis Monzón and José Carlos Déniz for ninth and 6.6 seconds from their Irish counterparts, Calum Devine and James Fulton in the tight top 10 battle.
Team MRF Tyres were able to set top stage times with SS11, the 12.40km Gálder stage being the best for the team with Breen/Nagle taking the third best time.
The Rally Islas Canarias marks the end of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season, one that was disrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic and one that was radically different to what was originally planned.
The work completed by rally organisers and the Championship to create this championship cannot be overstated.
It was also Team MRF Tyres’ first season in top level European competition. The team embarked on an aggressive development program and the advancements made from the first round to the last are testament to the hard work and dedication from everyone with MRF Tyres.
The FIA ERC season has now ended but Team MRF Tyres will continue the development of the product over the off season.
Craig Breen (Driver, Hyundai i20 R5) said “It has been a challenging rally. The changeable weather made it harder. Getting data for Team MRF Tyres in our development program was important today. It is difficult to ever get a test that is wet, muddy and dry and the chance to get data becomes the most important aspect.
“We had some really good stages in the rally. I really enjoyed the Gáldar stage and reminded me of stages back in Ireland. My favourite rallying roads!”
“Congratulations to Alexey Lukyanuk on taking the 2020 title, it was certainly a hard fought year.”
“I would like thank the organisers and volunteers at this rally and all throughout the ERC season. I would also like to thank everyone at Team MRF Tyres. This is the first time MRF Tyres has competed at the top level in Europe and the commitment and development of the product has been impressive. We should all be proud.”