MRF Tyres take their first win in the Italian Gravel Championship with Andreucci/Briani.
And Campedelli/Rappa make it a double podium.
Team MRF Tyres has won the Campionato Italiano Rally Terra (CIRT) in style with Paolo Andreucci and Rudy Briani winning three out of four stages to win the Rally Italia Sardegna – National.
The success for MRF Tyres continued as they took third place with Simone Campedelli and Gianfrancesco Maria Rappa and by Tamara Molinaro and Piercarlo Capolongo winning the Ladies Division.
This result is the first victory for Team MRF Tyres in top-line national rallying in Europe after the Indian tyre manufacturer committed to European rallying in 2019.
The Rally Italia Sardegna – National was the second round of the CIRT, or the Italian Rally Championship – Gravel. Team MRF Tyres had succeeded in taking a podium in the first round and was coming into this weekend after a podium run the weekend before in Finland. The rally, which took place on the Italian island of Sardinia, featured rough gravel rounds and was a test for man and machine.
The crews would tackle four stages and 73.3km of competitive action. They would run the 22.29km Filigosu - Sa Conchedda test, then the 14.36km Terranova test, then take to service before running the two stages again in the afternoon.
The key was that the WRC cars would run these stages before the Italian Championship cars, ensuring that the stones and rough conditions would lay in wait for anyone that would put a wheel wrong.
Andreucci and Briani put in a flawless run in their MRF Tyres Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. They started the day in style winning the first stage by 9.9 seconds before confirming their pace by winning the second stage. They went into service with a 12.5 second lead.
After service, they extended their lead with a third stage win from three stages. Their pace in each of the three stages was good enough for them to take the WRC3 stage wins, proving the pace of the MRF Tyre. Coming into the final stage, Andreucci and Briani ensured their place on the top step. In the end, they won by 31.8 seconds from Umberto Scandola and Guido D'Amore.
Campedelli and Rappa made it a double podium for Team MRF Tyres by taking third place in their Volkswagen Polo R5.
They started the day with a third on SS1, followed by a fourth and two more third positions to take their second podium in two rounds of the CIRT. Molinaro and Capolongo kept up the celebrations for Team MRF Tyres in their Citroën C3 Rally2. The duo finished seventh and achieved their goals of winning the Ladies Trophy for the second rally in succession and finished second in the Under 25’s Division.
This success shows that the aggressive development campaign from MRF Tyres has yielded results. MRF Tyres is competing in the toughest rally championships in the world and to be able to beat the best demonstrates the effort and skill from the team at MRF Tyres.
The work will continue with the opening round of the European Rally Championship taking place with Rally Poland from 18-20 June.
The next round of the CIRT will take place with the San Marino Rally from 25-26 June.
Paolo Andreucci, Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, Winner
“We are very satisfied with this victory! We were very careful in this rally since the beginning and paid great attention so as not to make mistakes or puncture. From the very first step we felt very competitive with our MRF Tyres. Here in Sardinia, our victory rewards us for the growth with the developments made in recent weeks. Our times have been excellent since the first stage. We were able to impose our pace thanks also to the reliability of the vehicle made available by Silvio Lazzara's H Sport team, who took care of the Skoda Fabia R5 Evo 2, set up with our partner Sparco. Now we are concentrating on the next appointment at the San Marino Rally, which will be the third round of the Italian Rally Championship - Gravel."
Simone Campedelli, Volkswagen Polo R5, 3rd
“I was thinking about the Championship. In the previous years, I retired in Sardinia and I had to make it to the end today. I managed my pace today as Paolo had better pace on the MRF Tyres but I was thinking about the Championship. To take another third here with MRF Tyres and make it through such a rough rally with no issues at all is great. I am now looking forward to the getting back in the car at the next round. Well done to everyone at MRF Tyres for this result.”
Tamara Molinaro, Citroën C3 Rally2, 7th & winner Ladies said, “It was a great weekend and a great achievement for the MRF Tyres family. Paolo and Simone had incredible pace and showed the potential of the tyres. On a rough rally like this, the tyre is the most important thing. It is impressive to see the work and the development and the work from MRF Tyres has paid off.”
“For us, it was a great rally. The feeling of the tyres is really important for someone like me, with less experience. We finished seventh overall and won the female class. We took important points for the Championship and delighted for this result. I have to say thank you to MRF Tyres, it wouldn’t be possible without their support.”