02 Apr 08
On its second of ten rallies in the 2008 season The Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team picked up four manufacturers’ championship points in Argentina, to remain ahead of Suzuki in the contest.
Reigning Argentine national champion Federico Villagra secured the points for the team, by finishing sixth - his best ever finish in a world championship event. Villagra’s rally wasn’t without problems, however, and he lost over 10 minutes on day two when a damaged exhaust system sent smoke billowing into the cockpit of his Ford Focus RS WRC, forcing him to slow down.
Villagra now holds eighth place in the WRC drivers’ championship.
“It is a great feeling to achieve my best ever WRC finish - especially on my home event, said Villagra. “I live in Cordoba and the reception I received from all the people there has been incredible and has really made me drive better. For a long time I have been rallying in Argentina but I have never seen conditions quite like we saw at the weekend. The biggest challenge was getting to the finish and I am glad we did that. Now I am looking forward to Jordan, it is a new event for everyone so I think this will help us a lot.”
Villagra’s team-mate Luis Perez Companc retired from the ninth place on the penultimate stage of the first day. Perez Companc slid off the road eight kilometres from the end of the 18.7 kilometre stage causing some small damage to the suspension of his Ford Focus RS WRC.
Perez Companc was unable to re-start the rally on Saturday as his car and recovery team became stranded on the stage; stuck in a massive blockage of spectator vehicles until 0500hrs.
“It was disappointing to retire on my home event in front of all the Argentine fans but sometimes in rallying these things happen,” said Perez Companc. “On SS8 we slid off the road in a very muddy section and did some damage to the front of the Focus. The car was not so bad but when the recovery team came to retrieve us there was no way out of the stage because many spectator cars were blocking the road because of the bad conditions. Had I got the car out in time we would have re-started - but it is just one of those things that can happen. I was happy with my speed before we went off and I am feeling confident ahead of Jordan Rally which should have much better conditions to those we have had this weekend.”
The next event for the Munchi’s Ford WRT is April’s Rally Jordan.