The CAMS Australian Rally Championship’s (ARC) official tyre supplier MRF Tyres has announced their entry into the FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC2) category.
India’s leading tyre manufacturer will make the move onto the world stage with Gaurav Gill at the wheel; they are yet to announce their first event, with round five of the WRC2 to be held in Argentina (April 26-29), followed by Portugal (May 17-20).
The move will call time on MRF’s successful 16-season campaign in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, which they dominated with nine title wins.
Gill, who won APRC titles in 2013, 2016 and 2017 with MRF and Skoda, said the move to WRC2 is thrilled with the move.
“It is a dream come true for me. In the APRC, I had competed and beaten some of the best drivers from Europe and now, it is time for me to compete with them in their territory,” said Gill.
Since MRF and Gill are not registered for 2018 WRC 2 championship, they will not be eligible for points as per FIA regulations regardless of where they finish. Gill has indicated the team will use the 2018 WRC 2 season, which has seen four of the 13 scheduled rounds already completed, as a dip-stick prior to doing the full championship next year.
Gill said: “This year, it is all about learning for both me and MRF. We will be participating in limited number of WRC 2 rounds, gathering a lot of data for tyre development etc. So, I do not expect any big results. As of now, we haven’t decided on the car I will be driving and also other details are being worked out. The picture will be clear in the coming weeks.”
MRF Tyres became the official tyre supplier of the ARC in 2017 and also supports CAMS State Rally Championships in Queensland and South Australia as naming rights sponsor. MRF counts Eli Evans as a brand ambassador and are also supportive of young up-and-coming rally drivers such as Wayne Morton through mentoring programs.