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DAKAR A FULL 2014 / 2015


VScott Abraham and Federico Villagraa15

• Second Dakar Rally appearance for former Argentinean WRC star
• Villagra to team up with co-driver Andrés Memi in South African-built Ford
• South Racing and Neil Woolridge Motorsport continue partnership
• Argentine energy company YPF supports Dakar Ford Ranger project
• Villagra attracts personal support from Ford Argentina for gruelling rally

16 December 2014

DARMSTADT, GERMANY, December 16, 2014 – South Racing and Neil Woolridge Motorsport have joined forces with Argentinean rally star Federico Villagra, with support from YPF, and will run a Ford Ranger in January’s Dakar Rally, the world’s most famous off-road motor sport competition. The event starts in Buenos Aires on January 3rd and finishes back in the Argentine capital on January 17th.

This will be Villagra’s second Dakar appearance and he has attracted personal support from Ford Argentina for the exciting challenge. The former FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) star finished an excellent 12th overall with co-driver Jorge Perez Companc last January and set a fourth quickest time on a tricky stage between Chilecito and San Juan in Argentina. This time around the 45-year-old, from Córdoba, teams up with navigator Andrés Memi.

Villagra is a well known figure in rallying circles in the WRC and his native Argentina and competed in the former series between 1998 and 2011, achieving two fourth-placed finishes in the Rally of Argentina and the Acropolis Rally in Greece in 2009.

Nicknamed ‘Coyote’, Villagra has taken part in a wide range of motor sport activities, including Supercross and Motocross, and finished ninth overall in the 2013 Rally of Morocco after taking up cross-country rallying at that year’s Baja Poland. He won a clean sweep of Argentinean rally championship titles between 2001 and 2007 before concentrating more on tackling rounds of the WRC, although he returned to win his domestic series in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“After experiencing my first Dakar in January with a very good result, this time I will have the privilege of having the support of YPF and Ford, with the assistance of South Racing and Neil Woolridge Motorsport,” said Villagra.

“Our objective is to achieve a good result and arrive in Buenos Aires amongst the leading group. Days ago, we had the opportunity to conduct a test with excellent results. The Ranger has unbelievable power and is very docile at high speeds. It feels very stable, mainly across the crests of the dunes and on the dune edges on the way down.

“Taking part last year has helped me a lot. The findings were important and allow me to find the balance as a driver. It will be very demanding for Andrés and I, but we should both be prepared both physically and mentally.”

Memi, 45, is an experienced competitor in his own right and has raced motorcycles, cars and even trucks on the Dakar. He is a winner of rounds of Argentina’s Cross-Country Rally Championship and, like Villagra, has considerable experience of racing motorcycles in Motocross and Supercross, skills that are invaluable in reading the dunes and the lie of the land on events like the Dakar Rally.

Memi tackled the first South American Dakar in 2009 on a motorcycle and finished 29th in the 450 category and has been working in on and off-road driver training in recent years away from the motor sport scene.

Scott Abraham, team principle of South Racing, will be in charge of event management logistical and servicing arrangements. He and his team are also responsible for ensuring that team members are fully briefed prepared and equipped and that each assistance vehicle and support truck is fitted with the correct equipment, spare parts and supplies.

Based near Frankfurt in Germany, the young, customer-driven team also has workshops in Portugal and is a partner on the Dakar project with Neil Woolridge Motorsport.

“We are looking forward to the Dakar immensely. Federico and Andrés completed their final shakedown with the Ford Ranger last week and certainly got to grips well with the car,” says South Racing’s managing director, Scott Abraham.

According to Abraham, this Dakar will be a real challenge for all the teams. “It will be a tough test, not only for the cars, but also on the service crews who are the heart and soul of the team. I am really proud to have a group of people who are so passionate and committed to the cause. It is a pleasure for us to also be working with such a high level of support from YPF and with Ford Argentina’s assistance with our logistics. They have helped no end in getting the project up and running for Federico and South Racing.”

Villagra’s Ford Ranger has been designed and built by Neil Woolridge Motorsport, the South Africa-based operation that ran the two factory-backed cars in 2014 in conjunction with South Racing which handled the team’s complex logistical programme.

“We learned a lot from our first outing on the Dakar Rally in January, and have applied this to developing an even more competitive vehicle for the 2015 event,” says Neil Woolridge, head of Neil Woolridge Motorsport.

“The experience gained from competing in selected international events and domestic championships with the Ranger throughout this year have enabled us to make a wide range of improvements to the chassis, suspension and performance of the vehicle, and this will be a significant advantage for the team on the 2015 Dakar.”

In addition to YPF, Villagra’s Dakar programme is supported by suspension and OEM parts company Fric Rot, Brenson (Dealer Ford), Piamontesa and construction company Natania. OMP, Michelin, Rudy Project and Gold Nutrition have provided technical assistance.

Ford Ranger in Dakar 2014

Two cross country Ford Rangers made their Dakar debut in 2014 in the hands of Argentina’s Lucio Alvarez and South Africa’s Chris Visser .

After early delays, Alvarez and his navigator Ronnie Graue climbed back from the rear of the field setting several top 10 stage times on their way to finishing in a highly creditable 22nd overall. Visser and co-driver Japie Badenhorst crashed out of contention on the second day.

Ford Ranger in 2014 cross country season

Under the South Racing management a Ford Ranger finished third in the hands of the Hungarian duo of Imre Fodor and Márk Mesterházi in the Hungarian championship, winning two events and an impressive four podium positions.

The Brazilian pairing of Cristian Baumgart and Beco Andeotti were runners-up in the arduous seven-day Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil at the wheel of an NWM Ford Ranger.

While building vehicles for customer teams, the Neil Woolridge Motorsport outfit also ran two similar Ford Racing Rangers in the 2014 South African Cross Country Championship, claiming an impressive three wins and from seven events, along with two second places and a third.

The cross country Ford Ranger

Villagra’s Ford Ranger was designed and built by Neil Woolridge Motorsport at its South African base in Pietermaritzburg, with assistance from Ford Motor Company’s Global Product Development group and Ford’s SVT Division.

The cross country version is based on a Ford Ranger 4×4 Double Cab and is homologated in the FIA T1 category. It is powered by an aluminium Ford 5.0-litre V8 engine with twin independent variable cam timing, and delivers approximately 260 kW of power and 560 Nm of torque at 4 100 rpm.

The body is made of full composite material and the Ranger rides on independent front and rear suspension, twin BOS dampers and front and rear anti-roll bars. The Ranger features Brembo air-cooled front brakes and water-cooled rears. Power is transmitted to the driving wheels by a permanent four-wheel drive system and a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox.

The Ranger also benefits from front and rear limited slip differentials, a GKN driveline, Evocorse wheels and Michelin tyres. It has an estimated top speed of 170 km/h and weighs 1975 kg.

A seventh season for the Dakar in South America

After running across the African continent since its inception in 1978 until 2007, the Dakar Rally returned to the international sporting calendar in 2009 and takes place in South America for a seventh year in January.

In excess of two million people are expected to line the streets and attend the ceremonial start in Buenos Aires on January 3rd, before the event treks west across the remote grasslands to the town of Vila Carlos Paz, home of the FIA World Rally Championship event in Argentina and notable for its rock-strewn moonscape-like tracks.

From the province of Córdoba, the route heads further west towards San Juan on January 5th and then into the foothills of the mighty Andes mountain range and an overnight halt at Chilecito. The Dakar caravan passes the snow line and crosses the spine of the Andes on January 7th and reaches the copper mining town of Copiapó in Chile.

A punishing passage through the Atacama Desert takes crews from Copiapó to the coastal mining hub of Antofagasta on January 8th and the route drills further into the very north of Chilean mining country and the town of Iquique on January 9th.

Iquique will host two separate rest days for the car and motorcycle competitors. The event crosses into neighbouring Bolivia for the second successive year and a Marathon stage to the town of Uyuni. Cars will tackle the Marathon stage without service assistance on January 10th/11th and benefit from a rest day on January 12th.

Race action resumes on January 13th with a special stage between the Pacific coastal town of Iquique and Calama, a small mining hub in the High Atacama overlooked by the towering Chiquicamata copper mine. Teams will re-cross the spine of the Andes into Argentina on January 14th and tackle a stage to the town of Salta.
The event then passes between Salta and the town of Termas de Rio Honda for the first time on January 15th and then moves on to Argentina’s third largest city, Rosario, on January 16. The final stage takes teams from Rosario in the Santa Fe province and on to the fanfare finish in Buenos Aires on January 17th.



January 3rd Start in Buenos Aires
January 4th Buenos Aires – Vila Carlos Paz
January 5th Vila Carlos Paz – San Juan
January 6th San Juan – Chilecito
January 7th Chilecito – Copiapó
January 8th Copiapó – Antofagasta
January 9th Antofagasta – Iquique
January 10th Iquique –Uyuni, Bolivia
January 11th Uyuni, Bolivia – Iquique
January 12th Iquique – rest day
January 13th Iquique – Calama
January 14th Calama – Salta
January 15th Salta – Termas de Rio Honda
January 16th Termas de Rio Honda – Rosario
January 17th Rosario – Buenos Aires
Finish in Buenos Aires









Neil Perkins

NDP Publicity Services
Media SOUTH RACING Team / Ford Argentina

Admin and Translation:

Editor Rally Report Magazine by Argentina

Media & Comunication Top Run Motorsport
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Photos: Media SOUTH RACING Team / Ford Argentina

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TEIN, INC.(Fanpage in Eng.) WRC – FIA World Rally Championship TEIN, INC.(日本語版 フェイスブックページ) Rally Argentina Top Run Motorsport Argentina WRT RRM Magazine 🇯🇵 🌏 🇮🇹 🌏 🇦🇷 🌏 #TEIN TEIN Motorsports Congratulates the 10 consecutive years of professional work Pablo MACHI in the information of our company that manufactures shock absorbers in motor sports at an international level. And happy to announce the continuity in global press cooperation for several more years.
#TEIN Motorsports 🇯🇵 🌏
24 March #2022

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The Italian Rally Junior 2022 Championship unveiled in Campidoglio
10 crews are ready to challenge each other in the series that launches the youngest protagonists and that will also take part in the 10th edition of the Rally di Roma Capitale. Motorsport Italia will be again on the side of ACI Sport, ACI Team Italia, Pirelli, Renault and Sparco.
The 10 crews that will take part in the Italian Rally Junior 2022 Championship have been announced today in Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio. The series dedicated to the youngest rally protagonists devised by Automobile Club d’Italia and ACI Sport will have Motorsport Italia as technical partner and will collaborate with Pirelli, Renault and Sparco. The cars employed for this series are the brand new Renault Clio Rally5. Motorsport Italia has also introduced the 10th edition of the Rally di Roma Capitale.
This event took place in the presence of Assessor for Big Events of Roma Capitale Alessandro Onorato, Automobile Club d’Italia’s President Ing. Angelo Sticchi Damiani, CONI’s President Giovanni Malagò, the General Director of ACI’s Motorsport Marco Ferrari, the General Director of ACI Sport Marco Rogano, Automobile Club Roma’s President Giuseppina Fusco, the Vice President of Consiglio Regionale Lazio Daniele Leodori, Renault Italia’s Marketing Director Biagio Russo, Sparco’s Brand Manager Niccolò Bellazzini, Pirelli Rally Product Manager for Italy Walter Nicola and Motorsport Italia’s boss Max Rendina.
The Federation has completed an important selection of all the very young drivers born after 1994 to define the ten crews that have been presented today. These are Sara Carra-Giovanni Barbaro, Alessandro Casella-Rosario Siragusano, Guglielmo De Nuzzo-Fabio Grimaldi, Fabio Solitro-Rosario Navarra, Davide Nicelli-Tiziano Pieri, Davide Porta-Marco Demontis, Mattia Zanin-Fabio Pizzol, Davide Gianaroli-Alessio Spezzani, Matteo Ceriali-Luca Ferraris and Edoardo De Antoni-Martina Musiari.
The Italian Rally Junior Championship will include 6 rounds, four on the tarmac and two on the gravel. The opening round will be the Rallye Sanremo, whose technical stages have hosed the Rally World Championship for many years. The season will then continue with the two gravel rounds at the Rally dell’Adriatico, which will move to Urbino this year, and the historical Rally di San Marino. The second half of the season will include the Rally di Roma Capitale, which will allow crews to measure themselves with the colleagues of the FIA European Rally Championship, while the closing rounds will be the Rally 1000 Miglia and Rally Due Valli, the latter will have an increased scoring coefficient of 1.5.
A big novelty of season 2022 is the car: the Renault Clio Rally5 fitting Pirelli tyres. The Milan-based company developed for this series two compounds for tarmac, PZero RA and Cinturato RWB, and the Scorpion K for the gravel. These are tyres capable of providing performance and grip in all conditions.
The French challengers are pushed by a 1.3 litres engine capable of 180 hps and 300 Nm of torque and will certainly produce a great spectacle on the tarmac and on gravel. Special care has been devoted to safety, as the new cars will mount the new, latest generation Sparco “MASTER” racing seat developed by Sparco in compliance with the new homologation standards FIA 8855-2021 that have safety features very close to those of the Rally1 cars. The safety equipment of cars will also include the FIA 8853-2016 homologated Sparco Prime H-9 EVO seat belts with aluminium buckle to grant the highest lightness.
The collaboration with ACI Sport, Pirelli and Renault will allow the winner of season 2022 to take part in 6 rounds of the 2023 European Championship as the representative of the ACI Team Italia on an important international stage.
An important collaboration will also be with ACI Sport’s Federal School Michele Alboreto, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Always in the front line for the training and tutoring of young drivers in all the sectors of motorsport, the School directed by Raffaele Giammaria will organize several extra testing sessions to allow the protagonists of the series to improve their skills of preparing races. This activity will be led by the 12 times Italian Champion Paolo Andreucci.
In this important event staged in the Piazza del Campidoglio and in the enchanting Terrazza Caffarelli, Max Rendina and his staff also introduced the Rally di Roma Capitale 2022.
The event organized by Motorsport Italia will celebrate its 10th Anniversary this year and will do so with the double validity for the Italian Rally Championship and FIA European Rally Championship. It will also be part of the Italian Rally Junior Championship. The competition has been introduced by an exciting video teaser and will introduce several novelties both in terms of sporting content and support initiatives. This anniversary not only celebrates the first decade of the sporting event but also wishes to raise the centrality of Rome and Italy in a very important international motorsport event.
In the pictures: on top, the crews, on the right the Renault Clio Rally 5.
The Campidoglio at a glance (lower left), Sara Carra, the first woman in the CIAR Junior, on the new Sparco racing seat (lower right).
Photos: Massimo Bettiol  🇮🇹  🌎
24 March #2022

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#MotorsportItaliaTV 🇮🇹 🌏 THE WEB CHANNEL STARTS 🇮🇹 🌏 ▶️



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#MotorsportItaliaTV 🇮🇹 🌏 THE WEB CHANNEL STARTS 🇮🇹 🌏
This evening at 9.00 pm the web channel debuts
A few more hours and will finally be a reality. At 21:00 today, Tuesday 22 March, the new web television channel dedicated to all the sporting activities of Motorsport Italia will go live with the first broadcast.
The first broadcast, which will be visible directly from, will be dedicated to the launch of the Absolute Italian Junior Rally Championship which on Wednesday 23 will inaugurate the commitment of Motorsport Italia. The structure headed by Max Rendina will in fact be the technical partner of the Italian Academy in rallies, again alongside ACI Sport, ACI Team Italia and the ACI Sport «Michele Alboreto» Federal School.
The Motorsport Italia TV project was born from the visionary drive of Max Rendina and his entire work group, who decided to further implement their communication activities in support of a development plan of particular interest, making use of the of the enthusiastic collaboration of the Mediasport Group staff.
The channel will technically be an OTT, therefore operational both on the web and on Hbbtv MS + (Plus), reachable by pressing the red button on the remote control on enabled televisions, within the digital terrestrial channel 402 MS Sport. In addition, all the scheduled contents, live and on demand, will also be visible through the Motorsport Italia TV app very soon available for all devices using IOS (Apple) or Android operating systems.
The schedule will be 24/7 or always operational, the editorial contents will be created in synergy with the editorial staff of MS Motor TV and with the journalistic coordination of Enzo Cerrone. They will report daily all the initiatives, sporting events and competitive programs of Motorsport Italia during the 2022 season and in the following ones. Tonight’s episode will then air at 10pm on MS Motor TV (CH 229 SKY – CH 55 TV SAT).
Not only recorded and in-depth content, but also direct such as the one that on Wednesday 23 at 18:30, contextual to the ACI Sport TV broadcast, will allow you to follow all the phases of the presentation of the Italian Junior Rally Absolute Championship from the Campidoglio, in Rome. , and the official preview of the Rally di Roma Capitale 2022, ready to blow out the first ten candles.
The program is very dense and also includes the Rally of Arezzo and Valtiberina valid for the Italian Rally Terrain Championship, organized for the first time by Max Rendina, the Rally of Lazio and of Cassino-Pico National Final ACI Sport Rally Cup 2022.
Photos & Videos: MS Sport 🇮🇹 🌏
23 March #2022

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