Munchi's Hungry for Success in Turkey
The Munchi's Ford World Rally Team will be looking to build on their success in Jordan when they visit Turkey next week for the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Federico Villagra and Jorge Perez Companc made
steady progress in their Ford Focus RS WRC in the Jordan Rally, successfully landing a seventh-place place finish and securing a further eight manufacturer points.
Due to business commitments, Companc cannot attend Rally of Turkey so Villagra will be using experienced co-driver and fellow Argentinean, Jose Diaz. The duo have already competed together in the past, so this will minimise any problems with the late change to the Munchi's team line-up.
The Argentinean crew will tackle 358.84km of competitive distance in Turkey and try to match the team's consistent top ten results in the championship so far. The majority of Turkey's 23 stages are short, sharp affairs -- with even the longest, Riva, just 27.17km - meaning Villagra and Diaz will have to hit the ground running in order to make sure they are on the pace from the off.
Villagra finished ninth in the previous Rally Turkey in 2008 but will face a new challenge this year as organisers have moved the rally from Antalya in the south-west to the world's fifth largest city, Istanbul, in northern Turkey.
Istanbul has recently been selected as the 2010 European Capital of Culture and the new spectacular location for the sixth edition of Rally Turkey will be unique in the World Rally Championship calendar - as competitors will be rallying over two continents during the course of the three day event.
The event will officially begin on Thursday 15 April in the historical Sultanahment Square right in the heart of the city, between the famous Blue Mosque and Haghai Sophia. The organising committee are also planning to arrange a Super Special Stage for the Friday night in the city centre.
Rally HQ will be based in Pendik, a district of Istanbul based on the Asian side between Kartal and Tuza on the Marmara sea.
The new stages to the north and east of Istanbul will be a huge challenge for the Munchi's team, but having completed two brutally tough events in Mexico and Jordan recently the Argentinean team will be prepared for anything.
Over the three day event, special stages will be based on the Asian side of Istanbul and generally the roads will be fast, wide and smooth. However, the predominantly gravel route contains almost 50km of asphalt and is bound to turn up a few surprises along the way.
The Munchi's Ford World Rally Team will be aiming to come away from Rally Turkey with a third consecutive points finish and enhance their position in the championship table.
Munchi's Ford WRT driver Federico Villagra said:
"I got a great deal of confidence from my performance in Jordan last week and I'm looking forward to Turkey to try and gain more points for the team. It will be a bit strange without having Jorge [Perez Companc] as my co-driver but I've driven with Jose [Diaz] before so I don't envisage any problems. I've heard that the weather out in Turkey hasn't been great so this might make some of the stages quite difficult, but I'm confident that we will be able to deal with any problems along the way."