Munchi's World Rally Team driver Federico Villagra has completed his first test of the Ford Fiesta S2000 he will drive on Rally Argentina, which starts tomorrow.
The Argentine driver, a regular in the World Rally Championship, has never competed in the Fiesta or in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge – of which the Villa Carlos Paz-based event is a round. He starts from number two, just behind Skoda driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, another WRC driver making his IRC debut.
Following his first test of the Fiesta on a road close to Carlos Paz yesterday, Villagra said: "I was really taken aback by the performance of the car. The chassis is quite tough and well balanced, which enables you to corner and brake in a smooth way. Of course, it is far from matching the Focus I drive in the WRC; however, it has a lot of potential."
Villagra will be in for some tough competition to finish the event as top local, with former Group N champion Gabriel Pozzo confident of a good showing in his Subaru Impreza. Despite recent results pointing to Super 2000 cars still holding the advantage in terms of performance, Pozzo feels he can exploit new Group N regulations permitting a 33mm rather than 32mm restrictor on the turbo.
"We are really motivated," said Pozzo. "We started the season with a victory in the first round [of the Argentinian Championship] and we're looking forward to this race. The stages are those I enjoy the best and I had a good feeling with the Subaru. We know we can be competitive and match the S2000's pace."
The event starts with a lakeside superspecial stage tomorrow night, before two full days of rallying over the weekend.