MRF Tyres expects feedback more than results from Lindholm
21 July 2020
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen are ready to start their summer season this upcoming weekend in FIA European Rally Championship event in Rome, Italy. The Finnish twosome drove a day long tarmac test on Monday, hosted by Indian tire giant MRF Tyres, and now everything is ready for the future event.
After a five-month hiatus caused by COVID-19 pandemic, rally’s first international event will kick off this weekend with Rally di Roma Capitale, driven in Italy. Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen, test drivers of the Indian tyre company MRF Tyres, will start the weekend’s competition with confident minds. After a test day on Italian tarmac roads, everything is ready for the upcoming weekend.
“Our tyres worked great along with the car. In the tests we tried new development versions of the tyre, which we will also use in the rally. Everything is as good as it should be. Great that we finally get to drive some rally again. After a five-month break we have been waiting for this moment eagerly”, says Lindholm.
The upcoming rally will be competed entirely on a tarmac platform. Lindholm's mission is to test different development versions of MRF Tyres tarmac rally tyres under competitive conditions.
“The agenda for the weekend is that we are here primarily to develop tires. MRF Tyres is a young player on the rally front who needs more feedback than results. We are still driving according to our original plan, which was delayed because of COVID-19 pandemic. After the Rally di Roma Capitale we will take part in three unnamed rallies where we will continue to develop MRF tyres”, Lindholm reminds.
Lindholm will drive in Rome, along with other rallies this season, with Toni Gardemeister’s TGS Worldwide Škoda Fabia R5 Evo2 car. Lindholm's teammate is Hyundai's professional driver Craig Breen who is competing with Hyundai R5.
“According to MRF it is only a good thing that the tests are being driven on two different car brands. They get important feedback from both of us. Personally I think this is a great opportunity for me to gain international experience as well and increase my knowledge and experience bank. Big thanks also to my Finnish partners for this. We were able to put together a program of four rallies this year, but I hope that there will be more similar rallies on our schedule next year”, Lindholm says.
Lindholm will take part in the rally on the outskirts of Rome, the capital of Italy, for the first time. They will start on the route with starting number 21. The actual driving order for the rally will be decided on the basis of the results of the 4.02 kilometre qualifying stage on Friday morning. The qualifying stage’s fastest choose its starting position for Saturday’s first special stage, the second fastest will get second choice etc.
“In the ERC the starting number does not matter when the starting position is decided in time trial. There are a total of 45 cars in the rally under the new name Rally2, so some kind of qualifying has to be done. We’ll look at the starting position when we know where and when we can make our selection”.
FIA European Rally Championship competition Rally di Roma Capitale’s Friday and Saturday super special stages have been cancelled, so the rally will start on Saturday with six special stages and end on Sunday with nine special stages in the program. A total of 15 special stages will be driven in the competition with a total length of 197.80 kilometres.