WRC

Rally Mexico: Munchi's Ford final summary

Munchi's successful finish in Mexico Munchi's Ford World Rally Team crews, Luis Perez Companc/Jose Maria Volta and Juan Pablo Raies/Jorge Perez Companc, have successfully completed Corona Rally Mexico, the fourth round of the World ...

Munchi's successful finish in Mexico

Munchi's Ford World Rally Team crews, Luis Perez Companc/Jose Maria Volta and Juan Pablo Raies/Jorge Perez Companc, have successfully completed Corona Rally Mexico, the fourth round of the World Rally Championship. Companc finished in 18th position while Raies came home in twelfth, narrowly missing out on scoring the team's first manufacturer point by one spot.

Corona Rally Mexico offered competitors testing stages with narrow, twisting and fast sections all in the mix. The rally's high altitudes made for breezeless air with dust becoming a major problem during the final leg of the rally.

After one of the most colourful and populated ceremonial starts in the championship, competitors headed out to the mountain regions surrounding Leon and Guanajuato City, to tackle the event's 20 stages.

It was a start to forget for Companc, who broke a shock absorber just 1.8 kilometres into the opening stage and was forced to retire for the day. After re-entering under SupeRally rules the Argentinean struggled with gear-box troubles during the morning stages of leg 2 when his Ford Focus RS WRC06 became stuck in fourth gear.

With the problem fixed, Companc finally launched into the stages in full flight, constantly setting top ten stage times over the remaining two legs, but admitting that it was tough running first on the road sweeping the loose gravel. On stage 15, the first pass over the Nextel Super Special, he had a spin which lost him ten seconds.

Co-driver, Volta, celebrated his 47th birthday today, happy to finish the final leg with no problems and set some top ten stage times to conclude the rally on a high note.

Raies used this event to gain valuable experience on his first gravel event in the 06 Focus RS. Like the majority of his 2007 campaign this was his first attempt at the rally and he finished every stage to come home in a respectable twelfth overall.

Brake problems hindered the 2006 South American Rally Champion, who found his brakes to be quite soft on the closing kilometres of most stages. He also hit the side of a bank quite hard in the afternoon stages of leg 2 bending the strut, slightly warping the front of the car, resulting in minor implications with the car's handling.

All said and done, this was en excellent result for the newly-formed WRC team, and a firm base to build upon for their future events this season.

Munchi's Ford World Rally Team Driver Luis Perez Companc said:

"I am glad to finish here in Mexico after the disaster start we had. It was a right hand corner, I went in as normal and didn't think I hit anything, heard a bang, then the steering didn't work and the suspension was broken. We walked back to look at corner, there were no rocks or anything but something caused the shock to break.

"I had trouble with the gearbox and we were stuck in fourth at the end of stage 10. I had to switch to manual gear change to try and fix the problem, the manual gear change broke in the process but luckily it fixed the problem and I was able to use the paddle shifts for the last stage of the morning. It was a tough rally for me but it felt good at the end when there were no problems and now we can head to Portugal with more experience on gravel which will be very helpful."

Munchi's Ford World Rally Team Driver Juan Pablo Raies said:

"The last stages were ok and the car is very good. The times are a little better than this morning and an improvement from yesterday so I am happy. It is difficult to adapt to all these new surfaces but I think here we have much better pace notes than in Sweden. It was good to finish the rally and every stage to gain full experience of this event.

"We had some brake problems during the rally and sometimes the brakes were not working well at all. I was starting to feel a lot better as the rally went on and the car was feeling really good, the grip is amazing on this surface. We will look to push a bit harder in Portugal and hopefully Luis or myself can score our first manufacturer point for the team."

-credit: munchi's ford wrt

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Series WRC
Drivers Juan Pablo Raies