Monday, 14 May 2018

Team MRF set to enter World Rally Championship 2018

Gaurav Gill and Co-driver Glenn Macneall to spearhead the campaign for the team



Team MRF is all set to make its debut in the FIA World Rally Championship with champion racer Gaurav Gillat the wheel. The three-time APRC champion, will kick-off his campaign with Australian Co-driver, Glenn Macneall at Rally Italia Sardegna scheduled to be held between June 7-10, 2018. With MRF as the tyre choice, Team MRF will compete with a Ford Fiesta R5 run and developed by M-Sport, the 2017 FIA World Rally Champions. The team will initially compete in four of the five gravel rallies on the calendar.

Rally Italia Sardegna is the seventh round of the Championship and a mid-season entry will give the team valuable experience as it prepares for the 2019 season. Gaurav Gill and Glenn Macneall have raced together for seven years as Team MRF and share a great camaraderie which will hold them in good stead for the tough season ahead.

Speaking of his participation on the world stage, Gaurav Gill said: “It is a huge honour for me to represent Team MRF in the World Rally Championship. I have always wished to participate in WRC and compete against the best in the world. I have been associated with the team for over 10 years now and I am thankful for this opportunity to showcase my skills at this level. I am training extremely hard in preparation for a tough challenge ahead and I hope to be on pace with the best in the world from day one.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Arun Mammen, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, MRF Ltd., said: “This is a huge step for MRF. We have been actively involved in promoting racing in India over the last 30 years and it gives us immense satisfaction to have a champion Indian racer in Gaurav Gill to spearhead our campaign in the World Rally Championship. Motorsports is a platform where we can demonstrate our tyre technology and apart from that it will also help us in developing new cutting-edge technology through extensive R&D and analysis of data collected from the track. I look forward to our season ahead and to our partnership with M-Sport.”

Mr. Malcolm Wilson OBE, Managing Director, M-Sport, said: “It is great to welcome Gaurav Gill and MRF tyres to not only the WRC, but also M-Sport. We as a company are well aware of their achievements in the APRC for the past 16 years and it is great to see them take their first step into the World Rally Championship with M-Sport and the Ford Fiesta R5.  It will be a tough learning curve, competing on four very different rallies – but M-Sport will do all they can to help them with the transition this year.  We hope this will be the start of a long and exciting partnership and wish them all the best of luck”.

MRF Tyres is participating in the four rounds of WRC in Ford Fiesta R5 (RC2 category):

1)  Rally Italia Sardegna              -   June 7-10, 2018 
2)  Rally of Finland                      -   July 26-29, 2018,  
3)  Wales Rally GB                      -   October 4-7, 2018
4)  Rally Australia                        -   November 15-18, 2018

Since 2018 is a development and familiarization year to study the various parameters like terrains, tyres, cars, etc., and as a part of this exercise a two-day private test session in Europe is scheduled at the end of this month.

The 13 Round Championship has already completed six rounds, and Gill will be taking part as a non-priority Driver for the four rounds.

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