Villagraís challenge heats up on home soil
Munchiís Ford driver Federico Villagra is in line to emulate his best ever FIA World Rally Championship finish as he heads into the final day of Rally Argentina in sixth place overall after a scintillating show of pace on day two of his home event.

The Cordoba resident and co-driver Jorge Perez Companc were willed on by the tens of thousands of eager fans who had climbed high into the hills to the west of Villa Carlos Paz as he moved up from his overnight position of eighth, using his local knowledge to avoid the pitfalls that caught out some other drivers.

He started the day 15.9 seconds behind Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson but by the end of the four-stage morning loop had overhauled the young Briton setting up an exciting afternoon battle as he took a 0.9 second lead into the repeat pass over the stages.

But Villagra has unrivalled knowledge of the iconic Rally Argentina stages like El Condor and Mina Clavero that featured on the 141kms covered today. He used that familiarity to outpace Wilson, despite having his windscreen cracked by a heavy impact this afternoon, and heads into the final short day of the rally with an 18 second cushion over his rival.

The Argentine champion has scored both driver and manufacturer points on both of his WRC outings so far this season and will be keen to increase that total as he takes on the remaining 48kms of the rally. The event culminates with a final Super Special stage in the Cordoba Stadium where Villagra thrilled fans tonight as he proudly flew the Argentine flag from his Ford Focus RS WRC.

Munchiís Ford driver Federico Villagra said:
ďThe stages this afternoon were very rough and we hit a big rock which cracked the windscreen and bent the front right wheel. But apart from that itís been another great day; the car is working fine and we are really enjoying ourselves out there. The support for us is fantastic. There were thousands of fans cheering us on and it was a great idea to run with the Argentine flag on the aerial of our car tonight on the Super Special just to show our thanks for all the support. We set a fourth fastest time this afternoon and are now up to sixth; this is a great position and we need to focus on tomorrow and getting a good finish.Ē

Other rally news
World champion Sebastien Loeb left the rest of the field in no doubt of his status as the worldís best driver as he moved up from third place to hold a 58.6s lead over Citroen team mate Dani Sordo going into the final leg of the rally. BP Ford Abu Dhabiís title aspirations suffered a blow as Mikko Hirvonen was forced to retire on SS15 as his engine overheated.

Leaderboard at end of day two
1. S Loeb/D Elena (FRA) CitroŽn C4 3h26m03.7s
2. D Sordo/M Marti (ESP) CitroŽn C4 +58.6s
3. J-M Latvala/M Antilla (FIN) Ford Focus RS +1m40.1s
4. P Solberg/P Mills (NOR) CitroŽn Xsara +2m40.3s
5. H Solberg/C Menkerud (NOR) Ford Focus RS +3m24.0s
6. F Villagra/J Perez Companc (ARG) Ford Focus RS +5m09.0s
7. M Wilson/S Martin (GB) Ford Focus RS +5m27.0s
8. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen(FIN) Ford Focus RS +15m57.6s
9. N Al-Attiyah/G Bernacchini (QAT) Subaru Impreza +19.45.0s
10. S Ogier/J Ingrassia (FRA) CitroŽn C4 +20m19.3s

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