Team MRF Tyres returns to the stages for Rally Hungary this weekend. The fourth round of the European Rally Championship will take place near the town of Nyíregyháza in the Hungary’s east.
In total, 16 stages and 191.06km of competitive action awaits the crews. Like last time out, the weather looks to be changeable and it is expected that there will be a lot of mud dragged onto the tarmac s
Craig Breen and Paul Nagle return in their Hyundai i20 R5. After taking the first stage win for Team MRF Tyres in the FIA ERC last time out, the pair are hoping to bring that pace to Hungary.
Breen and Nagle currently sit fourth in the ERC standings, after being forced to run under Rally 2 rules after hitting oil on stage and taking off a wheel in Portugal, leaving them with no points from the event.
The focus continues to be on development for the duo as they hope they can get more data on the MRF Tyres in these conditions. Like the opening rounds of the season, it is important to get the information for the next generation of MRF Tyres.
Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen will join them in their Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. The Finnish duo also showed great pace last time out, topping the Shakedown stage. Their Portuguese rally ended after brake failure and they are keen to get back on stage.
2020 is the second time that this event has been held in the FIA ERC. The roads are narrow and feature a lot of short corners, making cutting and grip a priority.
In all, the crews will attack 16 stages, the first of which takes place on Friday night with the Rabócsiring Super Special Stage. The 2.4km test will be a great warm up for the Saturday action.
Saturday’s stages get underway at 9:33 local time and two loops of four stages will await. Each loop is a touch over 60km with the day seeing 121.18 km of competitive action.
The day starts off with the 14.45km Újhuta – Bózsva stage before the crews move to the 23.90km Füzér – Abaújvár stage. The 10.85km Fony – Óhuta stage and 10.19 km Mád – Disznókő stage finish the loop.
It makes tyre choice and tyre management important for the teams with just one visit to service and longs stages waiting to take time off anyone who gets the call wrong.
Sunday’s action gets underway at 8:33am and features seven stages, totalling 69.88km. The first loop sees four stages, none of which are as long as the Saturday stages.
Erdőbénye – Aranyospuszta starts the day with 11.20 km of action followed by the 13.1km stage of Telkibánya – Rakodó. The 7.75km Kőkapu – Újhuta is next and will be the final stage of the rally. However the city stage of Nyíregyháza will be a treat for the fans.
It is a world class entry list for this event with Europe and Hungary’s best vying for a podium position.
This competition is an ideal way for MRF Tyres to test and develop the tyres – in real conditions against the world’s best drivers.
As the second half of Team MRF Tyres’ first European Rally Championship season commences, the fight for development never stops.
Each stage will be streamed live on radio from ERC Radio and MRF Racing will continually update through the weekend on our social channels.
Craig Breen (Driver – Hyundai i20 R5)
Rally Hungary is another round of the European Rally Championship I have not done before. With Team MRF Tyres, I am hoping we can have some more consistent conditions with the weather! The wet-dry-wet roads in Fafe gave us a lot of data in those conditions so I hope it can be full wet or full dry to give us chances to gain data in those situations.
It would be great to capitalize on the pace Team MRF Tyres had in Portugal in the next rally. It showed we had the pace to fight for a podium and showed some of the progress we have made through the season. We will primarily continue focus on development and collecting data as we still looking to learn and develop the next generation of MRF Tyres.
Credit must go to the team for being able to hold a Covid safe event and I can say that I am looking forward to the rally!
Emil Lindholm (Driver – Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo)
Rally Hungary is a new rally for me so it will be interesting to drive the Team MRF Tyres Skoda on those roads. We’ve had a bit of a mixed season this year – we had good pace our pace in Rome and Liepaja even though we were concentrating on development. We again had a lot of speed in Portugal, taking out Shakedown but the brake failure meant we couldn’t capitalize on that.
Data collection remains to the key for us as we look to develop the future of MRF Tyres rallying product. Before Fafe we were third in ERC1 and we have shown that there is potential in the tyre. So, it would be great to go to Rally Hungary and demonstrate the continued progress from Team MRF Tyres. It will be important for us to have a clean rally so we can maximize the kilometres on the tyres.
I am looking forward to Rally Hungary and congratulations to the organisers for being able to hold the event at this time.