Fri 24 Feb 2023

Tidemand reunites with MRF Tyres for ERC title bid

Pontus Tidemand will return to the red and white colours of MRF Tyres as he embarks upon an FIA European Rally Championship assault in 2023.

Tidemand's collaboration with the Indian brand has a successful history, dating back to 2015 when the Swede campaigned a Škoda Fabia S2000 in the Asia Pacific Rally Cup. He dominated the championship, winning five of the six rounds to claim the title.

Since then, Tidemand has continued to make a name for himself, claiming the 2017 WRC2 crown before going on to steer a Fiesta World Rally Car for M-Sport Ford on several WRC events in 2019. He has been less active during recent seasons, with his efforts focused on national rallies in his home country. 

But now, the 32-year-old is hoping to recapture that success as he prepares for his first assault on the ERC with the MRF Dealer Team, piloting a GN Motorsport prepared Ford Fiesta Rally2. In the co-driver's seat will be Julia Thulin, who guided Robert Virves to last year's FIA Junior WRC title.

“It’s exciting to be back with MRF Tyres,” Tidemand told “We have some really great memories together from 2015 and I can’t wait to get going.

“The dream is still there. When you have been out [from this level of competition] for a little bit, it gives you a chance to re-evaluate everything you’ve been doing and look at what is right and what is not right. I’m really looking forward to coming back to the bigger events again.”

Fierce competition is expected at the season-opening Rally Serras de Fafe next month (10 - 12 March), with the likes of Erik Cais, Craig Breen and Georg Linnamäe all confirmed - plus Tidemand’s rally-winning colleagues Efrén Llarena and Mārtiņš Sesks.

“I’ve been reading all about it,” Tidemand laughed, referencing the ultra-competitive field he’s about to face. “We are going straight into the heat! I mean, the competition is going to be as good as WRC2, or maybe even better than WRC2.

“For Fafe, we will go there and try to do a good result. It’s the first rally of the season, so I think it’s important that we have a nice clean rally and secure some good points. That’s the main target, I think.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM