Team MRF Tyres come home in fourth place in SM OK Auto Ralli


Team MRF Tyres shone on the ice and snow in the Finnish Rally Championship and the SM OK Auto Ralli held near Kouvola today.

The crews were greeted with snow and icy conditions in the six-stage, 111km event but the weather conditions would play a major role in the outcome of the rally.

Team MRF Tyres drivers, Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen would be battling for a podium all rally, always within reach of the podium in their Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo.

The day got underway with the longest stage of the rally with the 29.8km Hermunen test, followed by the 11.7km Rämälä stage. The weather was perfect for ice rally, with ice and icy gravel, providing a good surface for the MRF studded tyre.

The first leg was 42km and Lindholm/Korhonen were in third at the end of the leg.

They would be involved in a great four-way fight for the lead with Juha Salo/Mikko Markkula, Mikko Heikkilä/Topi Luthinen and Teemu Asumaa/Marko Salminen.

It would continue through the 29km second loop of Teuroinen and Väärtti. Team MRF Tyres would lie in fourth at the end of the loop but just a handful of seconds off a podium.

However, the final two stages, repeat tests of Hermunen and Rämälä would prove decisive. The weather had turned, dumping up to 10cm of fresh snow on the stages.

The top runners would be disadvantaged by the road conditions and as Lindholm/Korhonen were running third on the road, the conditions poor.

The Team MRF Tyres duo, however, did well to keep their fourth place and were just 3.9 seconds off Riku Tahko/Markus Soininen.

It was a successful start to the season for Team MRF Tyres. Before 2021, the studded tyre had only competed once before. Now, it has three rallies, with another podium and a top-four finish.

The team were able to gain valuable data in one of the toughest national championships in the world and were able to show that MRF Tyres can run at the front in any competition.

Emil Lindholm, Driver, Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo

“This winter we have tripled the number of winter rallies driven by MRF Tyres. We can be proud of our results and the progress that the entire team have made at MRF Tyres. We have been able to move forward again on tyre development. I had a lot of confidence before the start of the season that MRF will be able to prepare a competitive tyre for winter conditions. That has been proven correct!”

“This was a tough rally with horrible conditions. I was happy with our pace and we were fighting for a podium position for the entire rally. The last two stages we had sensor issue that cost us time a lot of fresh snow and despite this, we were able to keep our fourth place.”

“The MRF Tyres worked very well and we can be proud of our winter season. I look forward to the rest of 2021.”