Craig Breen has taken fifth position in Rally Liepaja, the second round of the FIA European Rally Championship.
In the first gravel event for the Team MRF Tyres, Craig Breen in the Hyundai i20 R5 showed great pace to take fifth position.
He had battled dust problems on Saturday’s stages and made changes to the car in the overnight service to find additional pace for the six Sunday stages.
The Sunday stages saw six stages in two loops, for a total distance of 87.66 km. The weather was sunny and warm and the dusty gravel roads meant that the road sweeping effect was in full force. Meaning the more cars that ran on the road, the more grip there was.
Breen started the day by taking fifth on SS5 – the longest of the day at 18.11 km. This was followed by sixth on SS6. Unfortunately, an issue on SS7 meant he lost 56 seconds and fell down the leader board.
He bounced back on the other side of service taking the second-best time on SS8. The time of 7:55.4 was just 1.5seconds off the stage winner, Mads Ostberg & Torstein Eriksen.
After the short stage nine, Breen had consolidated their fifth place in their first gravel rally in the ERC with MRF Tyres.
The final positions of fifth represent a positive finish for Team MRF Tyres. By pushing the boundaries and gaining important data against some of the best competition, the products will continue to improve.
The next round of the 2020 European Rally Championship takes place on the Portuguese Islands with the Azores Rallye. Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will compete on the gravel stage from 17-19 September.
Craig Breen (Driver, Hyundai i20 R5) 5th
“It was a tough rally but we showed some good pace. It was important that we got to the end of the rally to pick up good points and get more data for the development of the tyres.”
“We are pushing the tyres to the limits and we are aggressive on the development of the tyre. The MRF Tyres are durable and it is important to learn develop the tyres. We are happy with the direction of the development of the tyres.”
“Being able to take a second on one stage was good and shows our pace. What happened to us on SS7 could have happened to anyone. I am looking forward to continuing on gravel at the next round in the Azores Rallye.”