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Rally Catalunya: Munchi's Ford preview

VILLAGRA LOOKS TO SPAIN TO FINISH SEASON ON A HIGH Federico Villagra is ready to battle at next week's Rally de Espana in order to secure his best FIA World Rally Championship season to date. The Munchi's Ford driver is currently lying ...

VILLAGRA LOOKS TO SPAIN TO FINISH SEASON ON A HIGH

Federico Villagra is ready to battle at next week's Rally de Espana in order to secure his best FIA World Rally Championship season to date.

The Munchi's Ford driver is currently lying eighth overall in the Drivers' Championship, three points ahead of Norway's Henning Solberg.

Spain marks the end of the road for Villagra who will miss next month's Rally Wales GB so a good run is crucial for the Argentine if he is to secure his strongest season finish thus far in the WRC, having finish 2009 in ninth place.

"Scoring points is extremely important in Spain as this is our last round of the season. We're not competing at Rally Wales GB due to a clash with our home championship so I want a good result in Salou to ensure we finish 2010 on a high", said Villagra who enjoyed his best ever tarmac result finishing seventh on the recent Rallye de France

Villagra will joined by co-driver Jose Diaz in the Ford Focus RS WRC while regular partner Jorge Perez Companc recovers after an operation. The Argentine finished eighth last time in Spain but he has been buoyed by his most recent WRC drive.

"Hopefully the experience from France will help us score the points we need to finish ahead of Henning. France was the first time I'd driven on asphalt in over 12 months but we still managed our best result on the surface.

"The stages around Salou are some of the fastest I have driven but this year could be even more difficult as the organisers have devised stages with a mix of surfaces.

"2010 has been a good season for us -- both in the WRC and in my home championship. Tarmac has never been my preferred driving surface but hopefully this year's rounds at France and Spain will have made me a stronger asphalt driver so I can return to the championship next year prepared for anything."

Argentine Rally Championship News

Federico Villagra is currently running second in the Argentine Rally Championship but from 15 -- 17 October, he will take part in the Rally "Caminos del Palacio" -- the tenth round of the championship where he will try to snatch the lead from series leader, Gabriel Pozzo. After this weekend's rally, only two rounds remain in the 2010 Argentine Rally Championship.

Event Summary

Fast sweeping roads in the Tarrogana region of north-east Spain will play host to this year's Rally de Espana for the fifth consecutive year. The rally's service park will be housed in the coastal town's PortAventura theme park resort and the rally route remains similar to last year but with added gravel challenges.

The three-day rally will feature 16 special stages covering 355.30 km and will begin with a popular ceremonial start in central Salou on Thursday 21 October. Friday's stages will provide an interesting challenge for the drivers as they consist of a mix of gravel and asphalt road surfaces, but Saturday and Sunday's route will feature the traditional asphalt tests only.

The first full day of action will commence on Friday 22 October with two passes over a three stage loop in the wine-producing region of Montsant. The 35.94 km Terra Alta mixed gravel and asphalt stage will start the morning and afternoon loop and will be followed by a 14.97 km all-gravel test. A 17.28 km mixed gravel and asphalt test will round off the loop.

Saturday consists of asphalt stages only and takes the crews north-west of Salou to complete another repeat loop of three stages totalling 126.62 km.

At just 92.30 km, Sunday is the shortest day but includes a repeat pass of El Priorat, the longest test of the rally at 42.04 km which winds its way rounds the cherry orchards high in the hills above Gratallops. The rally concludes with a sprint over the 4.11 km La Serra d'Almos stage [SS16].

-source: munchi's

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Henning Solberg , Federico Villagra , Gabriel Pozzo , Jose Diaz