It is the first round of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship with Rally Poland. The 2021 season gets underway on gravel. MRF sat down with Team MRF Tyres’ ace Craig Breen on what to expect this weekend.
Team MRF Tyres: Hi Craig. We are here at Rally Poland, the first round of the 2021 European Rally Championship with Team MRF Tyres. First of all, it’s been a while since Gran Canaria is how much are you looking for to get back in the car for this championship?
Craig Breen: Yeah, it’s been a long time since the Canaries! Today we are testing and looking to get back into the rhythm. I haven’t competed on gravel at all since Estonia last year so it’s been it’s been a while but I’m looking forward to it.
Team MRF Tyres: The last time on gravel with the ERC was Rally Liepaja in Latvia which is almost a year ago. How different is Poland compared to Latvia?
Craig Breen: The profile in some places is quite similar but the surface in Poland is much softer. From doing the rally in the past, I’ve always seen it gets really, really rough here especially in the forest section. So it’s a different somewhat different character here in Poland but still high speed very fast a lot of crests and jumps.
Team MRF Tyres: For those watching at home on the live streams, what are some of the things that they can look out for?
Craig Breen: I would keep an eye on the incredibly fast sections. There are some nice jumps as well. It is one of the nicer rallies in the championship. It has a quite spectacular landscape and hopefully nice weather.
Team MRF Tyres: It will be good weekend and we have a great field in the European Rally Championship this year. We have some 45 Rally2 cars with some of the world’s best drivers. How do you approach a weekend like this?
Craig Breen: We always we try and search for the best result possible. Its’ a continuous learning exercise and for me and I have to discover a bit with the tyres and how they act in different conditions. Like last year, the goal is trying to do the best job possible.
Team MRF Tyres: What have you learnt from the test?
Craig Breen: The road was degraded quickly to be honest with you. It got very, very deeply rutted quite quickly. The rally can be like that in places but maybe not as bad. It definitely gives us a chance to test the tyres with different setup options and we’re looking forward to rally.
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