Munchi's Secure Points from Middle Eastern Mission The Munchi's Ford World Rally Team picked up its second successive points finish in the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship at Jordan Rally. Federico Villagra and Jorge Perez Companc made ...
Munchi's Secure Points from Middle Eastern Mission
The Munchi's Ford World Rally Team picked up its second successive points finish in the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship at Jordan Rally.
Federico Villagra and Jorge Perez Companc made steady progress in their Ford Focus RS WRC throughout the three-day event in the searing heat of the Jordan Valley to emulate their seventh-place place finish at the previous round in Mexico.
The Dead Sea-based event at 400metres below sea level once again underlined its credentials as one of the most demanding on the WRC calendar. As well as an altered schedule running from Thursday to Saturday rather than Friday to Sunday, in order to coincide with the traditional Islamic holiday, crews also had to contend with temperatures topping 30 degrees centigrade and deceptive loose gravel stages lined with dangerous rocks awaiting anyone unfortunate enough to slip from the road.
In only the team's second WRC event of the season Villagra and Companc entered the first day's 95.70km of competitive distance looking to build up their pace and avoid any costly mistakes early in the rally. Despite being the shortest of the event the opening day was no easy touch, and Villagra was pleased to have run in the top ten throughout before returning to final service placed ninth overall.
Day two of Jordan Rally presented crews with the highest total of competitive distance to cover at 138.28km. Villagra was a beneficiary of BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Mikko Hirvonen's misfortune, as the Argentine was promoted to eighth overall when the Finn crashed out on the first stage SS8 Suwayma. The two loops of three stages on the day's itinerary included the massive 41.45km Jordan River stage. It was on the first pass through this tough test that Villagra climbed another spot in the standings to seventh, when Henning Solberg lost several minutes when he pushed his right-rear tyre off its rim after hitting a rock. The afternoon was steady away for Villagra as he maintained a healthy gap between himself and former Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen behind him.
The 105.50km of competitive stage distance on the final day of Jordan Rally opened with tactical manoeuvring by the leading drivers as they sought advantageous road position ahead of the closing tests. However, this proved to be a boost for Villagra as he moved up to sixth overall as a result. The last two loops of four stages provided a stern test as crews moved towards the finish, with highly technical sections becoming littered with rocks after each car passed. Villagra and Companc endured some worrying moments battling through the dust and were lucky to escape without any major damage when they landed on the nose of their Ford Focus RS WRC after a massive jump on the first stage. After that scare Villagra decided to ease back and ensure they got to the finish. This allowed the hard-charging Sebastien Ogier to leap-frog him in the overall standings on the 12.53km SS19 Bahath, but the reigning Argetnine rally champion was relieved to complete the punishing event seventh overall and collect valuable points for Munchi's.
Following another fine solid outing the Munchi's Ford World Rally Team will now look to keep its point-scoring run going at the next round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Turkey on April 16-18.
Munchi's Ford WRT driver Federico Villagra said:
"It was good to get to the end of a very difficult rally. It's a very complicated event and you have to concentrate very hard to not make a mistake on every stage. It was hard just to stay on the road on the final day and we could not push too hard. I felt overall my performance was a lot better than in Mexico, and when we did push we got good stage times. It was a good result for us to be in seventh position and get the points for the Munchi's team."