Data and development the focus on challenging day in Rally Islas Canarias


The weather was the deciding factor in the Friday running of the FIA European Rally Championship and the Rally Islas Canarias. For Team MRF Tyres and driving duo, Craig Breen and Paul Nagle it provided an ideal opportunity to test and develop the tyres.

05 BREEN Craig (IRL), NAGLE Paul (IRL), Team Team MRF Tyres, Hyundai i20 R5, action during the 2020 Rally Islas Canarias, 5th round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, from November 26 to 28, 2020 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain – Photo Grégory Lenormand / DPPI

The day’s running saw nine stages and 98.78km of action with Breen/Nagle starting in 15th after their very strong time in qualifying.

However, the weather became a lottery with very strong winds affecting the stages and each competitor experiencing a different version of weather, some wet, some dry and some with something in-between.

The Gran Canarias tarmac was always going to be a different and new experience for MRF Tyres. With this rally ending the first year for the team in the FIA ERC, the tarmac on the island is very different to what the Championship has experienced earlier in the season.

Normally the flowing roads would offer a very high grip and high abrasion test. In the wet, the surface was greasy. The changed conditions meant that the opportunity to test and develop for these conditions could not be missed and that is where attention turned.

At the end of the day Breen/Nagle sat in 15th position 2:14.3 off the lead. To prove the challenging conditions, Breen/Nagle spent much of the day in a battle with fellow WRC star Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger and fastest qualifier Mikolaj Marczyk/Szymon Gospodarczyk.

There were highlights, when the conditions allowed the team to show the true potential, particularly on SS7, the 11.75km Artenara test where Breen/Nagle took the third fastest time.

Attention now turns to the 101.10km and eight stages that make up the Saturday running of Rally Islas Canarias.

It is the final competitive day of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season.

Team MRF Tyres came to the European Rally Championship to test, develop and measure ourselves against the best rally outfits in Europe. It has allowed aggressive data collection and development and has shown that MRF Tyres can come into a world-class competition and be competitive.

The final day of the season gets underway at 9:56 local time with the 14.17km Valleseco-Disa test. That takes place at 15:26 if you are in India. SS11 and SS17 will be livestreamed.

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Craig Breen (Driver, Hyundai i20 R5)
“The conditions were very challenging today with some parts of the stages being wet and some being dry. It would change so quickly which meant getting the right setup was a difficult task.”

“That meant that we turned our attention to getting data for the tyres. This is the first time that we have rallied on Gran Canarias and, for us, testing and getting data for the development for MRF Tyres is more important than an outright result.”

“Tomorrow it looks like the weather will be difficult to predict as well. We will continue to concentrate on our program of data collection.”