VILLAGRA HAS HIGH HOPES FOR HOME EVENT
Federico Villagra believes the support from fans on his home rally in Argentina next week will boost his chances of securing a top-five FIA World Rally Championship result for the Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team.
... there’s nothing like having the support of your fans behind you.
The Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver has contested Rally Argentina ten times, and is aiming for another top-five result after achieving his best ever WRC result in 2009 there when he finished fourth overall.
Fresh from victory at last weekend’s third round of the Argentine Rally Championship – Rally de Cutral Có y Plaza Huincul - Villagra and co-driver Jorge Perez Companc are feeling confident ahead of the WRC event.
Few of the drivers entered for this year’s Rally Argentina will be as familiar with the stages and the testing conditions as Villagra, affectionately known by the nickname ’El Coyote’ in his homeland. The rally is based in his home town of Villa Carlos Paz, and also holds special memories for the Munchi’s Ford team manager Martin Christie who won 1995’s rally co-driving for Jorge Recalde.
Friday’s highlights include some of Rally Argentina’s classic stages, including Mina Clavero and El Condor. Visibility could be an issue on the opening day as the WRC crews will climb to over 2000 metres driving through cloud and fog, where accurate pacenotes will be essential.
Villagra, who celebrates his 42nd birthday tomorrow, will need to tackle two runs of a revised stage with a mixed surface of both asphalt and gravel on Day 2. The innovation will allow spectators to see for the first time how Ford’s new Fiesta RS WRC performs on asphalt.
Sunday will also include one of the longest stages in the WRC calendar - the 48.21 km Ascochinga - a string in the tail which will be sure to test the drivers on the closing leg.
Federico Villagra said:
“This is the WRC event I look forward to the most – each rally has its special qualities but this event just has the best of everything. The fans are amazing, there’s nothing like having the support of your fans behind you and I always feel the urge to entertain the spectators on this rally. The stages are similar to previous years but there are some new challenges including the long stage [Ascochinga] on the final day and the mix of road surfaces on Saturday. I haven’t tested the Ford Fiesta RS WRC on asphalt yet and we’ll be running a gravel set-up so that could be tricky. I’m feeling more confident now after our win in the ARC last weekend and I hope that my knowledge of the stages will help me to battle for a top five position next week.”
-source: Federico Villagra