Sun 05 May 2024

Team MRF Tyres looking ahead in ERC after tough Rally Islas Canarias

Team MRF Tyres’ wait for its first victory in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship continues following Rally Islas Canarias.

Although Efrén Llarena challenged for a top 10 finish and Andrea Mabellini came a close second on the opening Las Palmas de Gran Canaria super special stage, the Spanish Tarmac event didn’t bring many points for the back-to-back winner of the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams.  

But the 13-stage all-Tarmac event did at least provide further opportunity for tyre development and data collection ahead of the four sealed-surface rounds that will decide the 2024 ERC season from July’s Rally di Roma Capitale onwards.  

“In general we did a good job in all the stages,” said 2022 ERC champion Llarena after finishing his home event in a points-scoring 11th position. “We were doing our best but I’m disappointed because we wanted to be fighting for the podium. We have much more pace than you can see in the times and I was pushing like hell in every corner. But I couldn’t do much more and for sure it’s not been a good weekend. Now we look to the next rally.”

After completing the challenging Tarmac event in 16th position, Italian Mabellini (above) said: “It was a tough weekend, not what we expected. We certainly gained experience that we will need for the next rounds, and we gathered data that will be crucial for the rest of the season.”  

Having won stages and fought for the victory on last month’s V-Híd Rally Hungary, Mārtiņš Sesks had to settle for 23rd aboard his Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, which was hampered by a pop-off issue on Friday’s opening leg and which Sesks was driving on asphalt for the first time.

“We have accumulated important kilometres,” Latvian driver Sesks (above) said. “We know that there is work to be done to improve the feeling on Tarmac. Now we put our heads together on the next two rounds, Sweden and Estonia on gravel, where the aim will be to win.”  

BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia takes place from 13 - 15 June.

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