Mexico Produces Points for Munchi's
The Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team made a successful return to the FIA World Rally Championship at Rally Mexico by securing a points-scoring finish in the tough Central American event.

Federico Villagra and Jorge Pérez Companc steered the Munchi’s World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC through the high-altitude tests of the rally, based in León, to finish in seventh place overall and take eight manufacturer points.

The result equalled the Argentine duo’s result at Rally Mexico 2008 and got their 2010 WRC campaign off to a solid start.

On Friday’s opening day Villagra eased himself back into action in his first WRC round since Rally de España in 2009, avoiding taking any risks on the testing Mexican stages and ensuring he got through the 137.24km of competitive distance unscathed. He completed the nine stages with a flourish as he posted a fourth-fastest time on the SS9 Super Special Stage and ended the day in ninth overall.

On Saturday morning Villagra took advantage of the high rate of attrition on the treacherous 29.90km SS10 Ibarrilla to climb up to seventh overall as other WRC crews fell by the wayside. He continued to notch up steady top-ten stage times throughout the day, despite minor brake problems, and again showed his skill around the León Autodrome Super Special Stage, going sixth then fifth-fastest on SS17 and SS18 respectively.

Starting the final day of the event on Sunday in seventh overall, and with no-one in front or behind him to fight with, Villagra’s sole aim was get to the Ford Focus RS WRC to the finish in one piece and use the valuable time behind the wheel to prepare for the rest of the season. On the 17.94km SS21 Comanjilla he and Companc were the third-fastest Ford Focus RS WRC through the stage, then capped their Rally Mexico outing with a fifth-fastest on the final stage SS22 Super Special.

Having successfully completed its first WRC event of eight in the 2010 season, the Munchi’s World Rally Team will now look to continue building its campaign at Rally Jordan on April 1-3.

Munchi’s Ford WRT driver Federico Villagra said:
“I am happy to get to the end of the event with no big problems and score points for the Munchi’s team. It was a very hard rally with lots of difficult stages. I had to work quite hard because I have not had much time in the car since last year, and although I was very confident in my driving in the short stages it was not so comfortable in the longer ones. We had some problems with the brakes on the very high stages as they were overheating, but other than that we were lucky compared to some of the other crews and did not take much damage. It was good to get to the finish of such a good event and now we can look to improve again at Rally Jordan.”

Final Leaderboard
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 3h42min41.7sec
2. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen C4S +24.2sec
3. Ogier/J Ingrassa FRA Citroen C4 +25.3sec
4. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS +1m47.5sec
5. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS +2m15.1sec
6. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS +2m48.0sec
7. F Villagra/Pérez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS +10m13.4sec
8. X Pons/A Haro SPA Ford Fiesta S2000 +18m44.4sec
9. M Prokop/J Tomanek CZE Ford Fiesta S2000 +19m.02.0sec
10. A Araújo/R Miguel POR Mitsubishi Lancer +21m.32.5sec

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