Wed 01 Jun 2022

Team MRF Tyres reveals five-car entry for Poland

Team MRF Tyres will field an expanded five-car line-up at Orlen 78th Rally Poland next week (11 - 12 June).

The Indian rubber giant, which claimed its first FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) victory at the Azores Rallye in March, has signed two new drivers from round four of the series onwards.

Spanish star Javier Pardo will join Efrén Llarena, Simone Campedelli and Norbert Herczig to complete a quartet of top-flight Škoda Rally2 Evos, while Latvian youngster Mārtiņš Sesks will steer an MRF-shod Fabia Rally2 Kit in the ERC Open category. 

MRF team representative Vivek Ponnusamy said the move was a testament to the company’s commitment to ongoing tyre development as well as supporting the sport’s next generation.

“This is very exciting news for Team MRF Tyres and we are really excited to have Javier and Mārtiņš on board,” explained Ponnusamy. 

“We want to nurture young talent, and we see great potential in both Javier and Mārtiņš as drivers, team-mates and ambassadors of the MRF brand. As a company and as a team, we are not sitting on our laurels. 

“Immediately after Rally Islas Canarias, our tyre engineers went straight to the factory for a debrief and already they were working on developing new tyres. We’re not waiting around and we want to keep pushing forward,” he added.  

Pardo currently holds fourth position in the ERC championship standings. He placed fourth at the season opener in Fafe, but dropped time at the subsequent two rallies with driveshaft and engine problems on a privately-entered Fabia. 

“I am very happy to join Team MRF Tyres and I am looking forward to being in Poland starting to work together,” he told “My aim is to do a good job in all the races and get as many points as possible for MRF.”

Sesks is a two-time FIA Junior WRC rally winner and won the ERC Open category at the Azores Rallye this year despite nursing turbocharger issues. 

He added: “For sure, this is a really nice thing to happen in the middle of the season. These things don’t happen very often and it gives us a really good boost for the future. 

“Hopefully this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship and I can’t wait to start working as soon as possible and get going in Poland.”

  • Full coverage from Orlen 78th Rally Poland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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