27 May 08
To balance its relative inexperience of the upcoming Acropolis Rally, the Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team has drafted in Greek rally driver Aris Vovos to pilot the team’s second car.
As with all 10 rounds of this year’s Munchi’s WRC campaign, Argentine Federico Villagra will drive the team’s number one Ford Focus RS WRC.
Vovos, who will be co-driven by ‘El-Em’ Loris Meletopoulos, has tackled the Acropolis Rally 13 times since 1993 and is one of Greece’s best known rally drivers. His best result on his home rally came in 2004 when he finished eighth in a Ford Focus RS WRC. This year he will be reunited with the Focus RS in the latest specification and will tackle his first WRC event of the 2008 championship.
“The Acropolis rally has always been the most important event of my annual program,” said Vovos. “And I have to admit that I am a little excited, especially this year that we will be using a top line car and we have no excuse on not performing well in front of our fans”
Vovos and El-Em first drove their Acropolis specification Focus WRC07 at a test in Sardinia in early May, where they were assisted by ex Ford team driver Roman Kresta.
“At the beginning of the test I found the car far away from my driving style,” said Vovos. “But thanks to Roman Kresta's assistance we have managed to come to a very good result. I am now looking forward to driving the car in the stages that we know well. I believe that the Pirelli tyres are very strong this year, but they will be the key factor in this year's event."
Munchi’s team leader Federico Villagra tackled the Acropolis for the first time in 2007, but retired from the second day with a clutch problem. He restarted as a Superally entrant and finished 32nd.
“It’s a rally I like quite a lot and this year I will be able to get some tips from my team mate who knows the conditions well,” said Villagra. “The event usually throws up some surprises. But I think it will benefit us to be doing another rally quite close after the last one as the feeling of the car is still in my head and our confidence is good after Sardinia. The focus is still on finishing the rally without any problems and if we can do that it will be a good opportunity to collect more points for both me and the Munchi’s team.”