Embarking on its fourth season in the FIA World Rally Championship is the Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team. Named after the Argentinean chain of ice-cream parlours owned by team founder Luis Perez Companc, the M-Sport supported squad will tackle a programme this year with a varied driver line-up.
The team was established in 2007 when rally enthusiast Perez Companc got together with Villagra to take on the best drivers in the world. Both successful competitors in their home country of Argentina, Companc and Villagra were nevertheless two of the least experienced international rally competitors in the 2007 field. Unsurprisingly their goal for the season was to learn; to familiarise themselves with the rallies in the series, and to improve their pace as they went along. And looking back at the season that’s exactly what they did.
After collecting 14 manufacturers’ championship points in 2007, the objective for 2008 was to score more. In fact the team scored 22 and had the factory Suzuki team worried for much of the season. Villagra kept his South American fans happy by scoring his best result, sixth, in Argentina and Mexico. Business commitments cut short Perez Companc’s season, but stand-ins like Henning Solberg and Barry Clark kept the points rolling in.
Munchi’s tackled a seven-round programme in 2009, but with Perez Companc pulling out altogether, Villagra was the sole entry for most of the season. A second car featured only twice; in Finland, where Matti Rantanen was a guest driver and in Spain where the seat was taken by Paul Bird. Predictably, given its limited points colleting potential, the team finished the season last in the Manufacturers’ championship, but highlights were the two fourth places Villagra scored in Argentina and Greece.
Villagra is expected to be the mainstay of the Munchi’s team once again in 2010.