Breen joins Team MRF Tyres for ERC 2020
Craig Breen will bring his FIA World Rally Championship pace and prowess to the ERC in 2020 after he was selected to spearhead MRF Tyres’ return to international rallying.
The 30-year-old, who has two world championship support category titles to his name, placed second in the FIA European Rally Championship in 2015, an achievement that earned him a step up to world rallying’s top tier for 2016.
After scoring two world championship podiums and multiple points finishes during the next two seasons, Breen demonstrated his impressive diversity in 2019 when he notched up wins in four different types of Rally2 (formerly R5) cars. He also scored points on two world championship starts with the factory Hyundai World Rally Car squad.
While success at world level remains the Irishman’s ultimate goal, his experience of the ERC, combined with his technical understanding and undoubted speed, makes him an ideal candidate for MRF Tyres, which has joined forces with BRC Racing Team to tackle the eight-event ERC with a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing-supported Hyundai i20 R5.
“I am really happy to start this adventure with MRF Tyres,” said Breen, who will compete under the Team MRF Tyres banner alongside co-driver and compatriot Paul Nagle. “We worked together last year placing emphasis on tyre development. It will be a great year with MRF Tyres, BRC Racing Team and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and great to get back to some rallies I have done in the past along with some new rallies.”
MRF Tyres Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Arun Mammen, said: “MRF Tyres has a long and proud history in rallying in India and the Asia-Pacific region. With nine APRC titles, it is the right time to take the next step and take Indian motorsport into the European Rally Championship. We know it will be a challenge to compete with our European rivals but we are committed to rallying in the long term and we are aiming to learn and develop.”
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator for promoter Eurosport Events, said: “We are very happy that MRF Tyres has chosen the FIA European Rally Championship for its return to international rallying when it will develop its products and services in an arena where Michelin and Pirelli are already active. In Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, MRF has a very capable and professional partnership, while Craig will be the one to beat for drivers aiming to prove their talent at international level.”
Breen, Nagle, BRC Racing Team and Team MRF Tyres will begin their ERC campaign on the Azores Rallye from 26-28 March.