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Fri 12 Apr 2024

Tyre suppliers to chase new FIA title in ERC

The all-new FIA European Rally Championship for Tyre Suppliers begins on V-Híd Rally Hungary this week with four manufacturers aiming to showcase their products – and chase a coveted title – in the hugely competitive ERC.

Hankook, Michelin, MRF and Pirelli are the ERC’s official tyre partners and are all eligible for the new award. But while it’s equipping overall championship contender Filip Mareš with its new R213m tyre, the company’s focus is on the drivers aiming to follow in the Czech driver’s wheel tracks.

Developing young talents Hankook’s ERC focus

As the official tyre supplier to the FIA Junior ERC Championship, developing the ERC1 category drivers of the future is Hankook’s priority.


Hankook Tire Europe Motorsport Team engineer John Archer explained: “We’re proud to be the official tyre supplier to Junior ERC, helping to build the stars of the future. It’s a really good start with 17 cars entered in Hungary. Even though some drivers are returning from last season, it will be an open field.”

 

While Hankook continues to provide its R211 gravel tyre in hard and soft compounds for Junior ERC, it has developed the R213M for its Rally2 competitors. The tyre has a wider groove than its predecessor, the R213. It comes in medium and soft compounds.

Michelin sets ERC title target

Tim Hoare, ERC Rally manager, Michelin Motorsport, has set winning the FIA European Rally Championship for Tyre Suppliers as the company’s goal for 2024.

 

He said: “It changes the focus for us, it’s all about results this year and winning the title. Don’t make any mistake, we do want to sell tyres but it’s all about results, we’re not just here to take part. It’s all very well having good tyres but you need the right guys on the tyres and we have some good drivers for 2024.”

 

Michelin’s G91 Hard will be the tyre of choice for its customers on V-Híd Rally Hungary although there could be some slight variation in choices. “It’s looking like a very hot weekend so it will be the hard compound all weekend. Maybe the first runners on Saturday might go for the medium because they’ll be opening the road, there will be a lot of loose gravel and it will be a little bit cooler but there will be some jeopardy on the stages.”

Continuous improvement and achievement of results MRF’s mission  

Team MRF Tyres enthusiastically continues its programme in the FIA European Rally Championship for the 2024 season, in pursuit of continuous improvement and the achievement of maximum results. Continuing the successes of past seasons, the Indian tyre brand's team will be supporting three crews this year: Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández, in a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, Mārtiņš Sesks and Francis Renārs with the new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, plus Andrea Mabellini and Virginia Lenzi in another Škoda Fabia RS Rally2.  


Team MRF Tyres continues to benefit from the experience and knowledge of multiple Italian champion Paolo Andreucci. His involvement is crucial not only in competition, which is focused on the Italian championships, but also, and above all, in relentless tyre development, both for Tarmac and gravel.  


MRF Tyres invests significantly in research and development to offer state-of-the-art products. Recent efforts have focused on the introduction of sustainable technologies to produce lighter and stronger tyres, a key factor in improving performance on the rally field. These tyres not only increase performance efficiency, but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of rallying, which is a really crucial aspect.

New award brings excitement for Pirelli

The FIA European Rally Championship for Tyre Suppliers is also a target for Pirelli, which equipped last year’s ERC champions Hayden Paddon and John Kennard.

 

ERC project manager Alberto Ferloni said: “I expect a tough rally for the car and the tyres and the information after the recce from my colleagues was that it was more or less like the Safari Rally out there. We’re excited about the FIA European Rally Championship for Tyre Suppliers and of course we aim to win it. We’ll do our best to do it.”

 

Pirelli’s gravel tyre choice for V-Híd Rally Hungary consists of the medium-compound K6B Reinforced and the soft-compound K6A.