Craig Breen was second fastest over the Sunday leg of Rally Poland.
It was the perfect morale booster for the Hyundai driver who was forced to retire on Saturday after damaging a suspension component in a hidden rock.
Competing under rally two rules on Sunday, Breen signed the first ever fastest stage time for the MRF Tyre brand.
In fact, he did it twice over the course of Sunday’s loop. He took stage wins on SS10 and SS13 and were second fastest over the entire Sunday loop.
Team MRF Tyres showed great pace on the first full day of running at the FIA European Rally Championship’s opening round, the ORLEN 77th Rally Poland.
Craig Breen set top four stage time and be in the hunt for a podium but bad luck would get in their way.
The day started well on the 18.20km Świętajno 1 where the Team MRF Tyres finished fourth. Better followed on the 17.16 km Olecko 1 stage, to take third.
However, a technical problem hampered the car on SS5, the long 28.70km Wieliczki test. More than a minute was lost and the team would have to fight back.
The fightback began strongly taking a fourth on Świętajno 2 and another fourth on Olecko 2 to climb back to sixth place.
On SS7, at around 27km into the stage, a rock hidden on the line broke the rear suspension. There the day, and the chances for a good result ended.
However, the team did get good test miles for the continuing development of the next generation of MRF Tyres, while showing the outright pace in what is MRF Tyres second gravel rally in the FIA ERC.
“We were happy with the pace we had today. The tyres and the car were handling very well and we were always setting times inside the top four. We were happy that we could have gotten a top result for Team MRF Tyres,” said Breen.
“It was unfortunate that we had a problem in the first loop but we were able to fix the car at service and come back. The Team MRF Tyres car was fast and we were climbing back up the standings. Then the suspension broke near the end of SS7 and that is where the day ended for us.”
“We will be back tomorrow. We are committed to getting as many test and development kilometres as we can. I am happy with the pace we showed here today.”
Breen restarted on Sunday to continue the development of the car and measure the performance against the best drivers and brands in the world.