Munchi's Ford driver Federico Villagra will contest the third round of this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge – Rally Argentina – in a Ford Fiesta S2000.
The Argentinian, who has been a regular in the World Rally Championship since 2007, will be among the favorites for victory on his home event in March despite his lack of familiarity with the Fiesta. The multiple Argentinian Rally champion will arrive at M-Sport's base in Cumbria next week to test the Focus RS WRC he will use in this year's WRC and the Fiesta for Rally Argentina.
Villagra's best result on the biggest rally in his homeland was fourth overall last year. In his efforts to better that score, he will have to overcome reigning IRC champion Kris Meeke, who makes the trip to South America in his Peugeot UK 207 S2000.
Following the victorious debut of the Fiesta S2000 on last week's Monte Carlo Rally, M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson is confident of seeing more of his cars competing in the IRC, although Monte winner and Ford WRC driver Mikko Hirvonen is not set for further IRC appearances.
"There are no plans to do any other rounds of the IRC with Mikko but, hopefully, there will be some private drivers coming into the IRC in Fiestas," said Wilson. "They will be run by other teams but hopefully they will do the same job that Mikko has done in Monte Carlo."
This year's Rally Argentina will not qualify for the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 1995, due to the rotational nature of the 2010 WRC calendar. It is expected the Carlos Paz-based classic will return to WRC in 2011.