Munchi's hunt points on home event The Munchi's Ford World Rally Team will step into their backyard at next week's Rally Argentina confidently searching that illusive first manufacturer point which narrowly evaded them by one position in...
Munchi's hunt points on home event
The Munchi's Ford World Rally Team will step into their backyard at next week's Rally Argentina confidently searching that illusive first manufacturer point which narrowly evaded them by one position in Mexico. Round six of the FIA World Rally Championship will be the third in the Munchi's ten event campaign and the crews of Luis Perez Companc/José Maria Volta and Juan Pablo Raies/Jorge Perez Companc are hungry for championship points.
Encouraging news comes from Miami where Pablo Perez Companc, brother of Luis and Jorge, undergoes rehabilitation after an extremely serious accident in the Indy Lights Series, which forced his brothers to withdraw from last month's Rally de Portugal to be by his bed-side.
Pablo is expected to make a full recovery and the Munchi's team have announced that they will be competing in Rally Deutschland after positive consultation with the FIA who have allowed the team to add a replacement event and be re-eligible for the Manufacturers' Championship.
Argentina is expected to be a fast and unpredictable surface; in 1983 the rally was won by Hannu Mikkola at an average speed of 121.6kph, a record that stood for almost 20 years. The majority of the 346.55 kilometres of race distance will be based around the hills of Cordoba in the country's north and in some areas will climb as high as 2195 metres above sea level.
The 27th running of this rally will start 700 kilometres away from Rally HQ at the River Plate Stadium in the country's capital, Buenos Aires; this will also play host to stage 1, the 2.4 kilometre super special. This will be an exciting start for the Munchi's team who are prime sponsors of the opening test through the massive football stadium complex.
Luis Perez Companc has tackled this event five times in his rallying career, with co-driver Volta, finishing an impressive sixth overall in 2003.
Last year the Argentine superstar finished just one position off the points in his Ford Focus RS WRC05 after launch control issues cost him precious seconds and eighth position on the rally's penultimate stage. This year, in the 06 car, Companc will be looking to dominate on his home event.
For the past two years Raies and co-driver Jorge Perez Companc have been crowned South American Rally Champions in the A8 class. With their extensive knowledge of Argentinean roads they will be ones to watch out for.
Raies previous best result is 17th overall in 2002 and he has competed in this event six times since 1992 when he made his Rally Argentina debut in a Renault 18 GTX.
The team may also be able to draw upon the knowledge of their Team Manager, former WRC co-driver Martin Christie, who won Rally Argentina in 1995 in a Lancia Delta HF Integrale.
Munchi's Ford World Rally Team Driver Luis Perez Companc said:
"To do your home event is what all rally drivers want, it stimulates you a lot with the people cheering on the side of the roads when you pass. I am very anxious about this rally because I know how important it is to represent Argentina and show ourselves driving a car of the highest level of the WRC in our home event. This is the most important Rally Argentina for us because we will do it with our team, the Munchi's Ford WRT, that is nominated as a manufacturer team for the championship; this is something that is very new for motor-sport in Argentina.
"We thank God that Pablo is recovering very well from his accident and on my side, I am ready to start this rally. I am convinced we can score the first point for the Munchi's team and that I can finish in the top seven. I must concentrate during the entire event and, if I achieve this, I have no doubts that we can score the first points for the team and myself as a driver."
Munchi's Ford World Rally Team Driver Juan Pablo Raies said:
"It is always good to have a winning car and that is why we are confident of having a good rally in Argentina. It is important for us to have all the experience possible of the car, Portugal would have been a positive experience, but both Luis and myself are very familiar with the surface in Argentina and will hopefully do well here. It is nice to feel the support of the people; in Argentina the Munchi's team is going to be cheered and this is going to be important for us to have a good result.
"The idea is to score points for the Manufacturers' and Drivers' standings, using the experience that we have on this rally; we hope to score the first ones in our country. It's going to be a hard rally, we will try to run pushing hard, but as safe as possible, and at the end of the rally we hope to get a good result."