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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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RRM WRC ARGENTINA MAGAZINE 140 🇦🇷 🌍 -> Order here!



The 140th edition of RRM is eagerly awaited, with all the latest news from the World Rally Championship. Offering special reports with exclusive interviews of international level.
In this time the edition of the month of March, has in its credit everything what happened with the triumph in Sweden, of the British Elfyn Evans with Toyota.

What will come from the Rome Capitale Rally 2020, valid for the European competition, organized by the Italian firm Motorsport Italia, which is headed by Max Rendina.
An intense note from the top executive of TEIN INC. in Japan, Mr. Yoshio Fujimoto, with his sporting support for their stable programs in Motorsport on a global level, both with the professional support of the Japanese shock absorbers for the WRX and WRC. Counting on his successful sports campaign as a driver in the 90’s with Toyota.
Which left the Monte Carlo Rally, with the princely victory of the Belgian Thierry Neuville, who drives the fabulous Hyundai Coupe i20 WRC Plus.

An exquisite and unique report to Mr. Yasuo Hiraoka, the head of Subaru Tecnica International, (STI), who thanks to the management of «kumi» Shinozaki, we were able to make this fantastic review with Mitaka’s boss.
Oliver Solberg, and his debut with the Fabia R5 EVO in Torsby.
The truncated schedule of the Speedagro Rally Argentina 2020, which has been postponed by the Coronavirus. And the Top Run of the Agnello brothers, who acquired a new generation Fabia R5 to run in the short term in the WRC3.
JESSICA VERZIN, the blonde Italian girl, who is in charge of the professional catering work for W RACING PROJECT for the 2019 world champion team of constructors, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, stands out in the publication, showing her feminine and sensual side, and confirming the excellent work that WRP is doing, to provide a fantastic food service, from Italy to
the whole WRC Plus circus.

Finally the new French weapon of Renault Sport Racing of France, the New CLIO Rally 5, which was shown as car 0 in Monte Carlo and debuts in the Mexican Rally Azteca with the Argentinean driver Martin Suriani.
Leaves a bitter and sad taste the postponement of the 40 years of the Rally of the Republic of Argentina, but it is a reason of world health, that exceeds to all, and the first thing is the common sense and the prevention of all.
We expect news soon, with the 2 month interval that the WRC will have, after the dispute in the WRC 2020 in Leon.

RRM WRC ARGENTINA MAGAZINE 140 🇦🇷 🌍 -> Order here!

RRM WRC ARGENTINA MAGAZINE 140 🇦🇷 🌍 -> Order here!

All The Best, Pablito 🇦🇷 🌍

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🌍 🇦🇷🌍

13 de Marzo 2020

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🌎 🇮🇹🌎
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🌎 🌎




Paulo Nobre completed stage five of Rally di Roma Capitale with his car boot open.

The FIA European Rally Championship regular from Brazilian explained that he forgot to close it properly prior to the run.

“I took out the [safety] helmets and forgot to close the boot so I make one special stage with the boot open so it was the opposite to Poland [when it was the bonnet that was open].”











Media FIA ERC 🌎🇮🇹

Photos: Media FIA ERC 🌎
Media Rally Di Roma Capitale 🇮🇹🌎
Sven Kollus / Flat Out Media Agency / Germania 🇩🇪

Rally di Roma Capitale FIA ERC Campionato Italiano Rally
#rally #fiaerc #cirally #roma #show #italianstyle #RRC19#rallydiromacapitale #eternapassione

Fiuggi, 21 July 2019

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WRC 2 A FULL 2019 





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M-Sport and Ford are proud to introduce the all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5. Replacing its hugely successful predecessor, the new Fiesta promotes the latest motorsport technology and road-going design.

Based on the Ford Fiesta ST-Line which is manufactured at Ford’s world-class facility in Cologne, M‑Sport has worked closely with the Ford Motor Company to ensure the new Fiesta R5 provides a big step forward in terms of pace and performance.

The original Fiesta R5 is M-Sport’s most successful global rally car and continues to win stages, rallies and championships worldwide. With more than 250 cars in competition, the outgoing Fiesta remains a capable and competitive winner, but its successor boasts improvements in all areas.

The 1.6 turbo charged engine delivers 290 BHP and 475 Nm of torque at 4,000 RPM. The direct injection power plant is also fitted with a 32mm restrictor in conjunction with R5 regulations and provides a significant improvement in response and drivability

Brand-new suspension components include front and rear McPherson struts with redesigned three‑way adjustable dampers from Reiger. The new aluminium damper bodies save considerable weight, and the geometry has been remodelled for optimised traction and stability.

A newly designed Sadev five-speed sequential gearbox mated to front and rear differential units is accompanied by hydraulic servo-assisted rack and pinion steering, and Brembo forged four-piston front and rear calipers provide the stopping power.

The initial design and development started in January 2018, with the first test session taking place in December that same year. Since then, eight test drivers have completed more than 30 days testing on a mix of different roads and conditions.

Smooth Tarmac, rough Tarmac, hot gravel, loose gravel, seasoned test drivers, rally winners, and even Formula One race winners – the latest Fiesta has been put through its paces and no stone has been left unturned in search of optimum speed, reliability and performance.

The project also upholds M-Sport’s support of young talent with 28-year-old Bernardo Fernandes – who engineered Sébastien Ogier to championship success in 2017 – leading the team.

Delving into his knowledge of the award-winning Ford Fiesta WRC, as well as the original Fiesta R5, Fernandes’ experience has been combined with the innovation of youth – his team creating one of M-Sport’s most long-awaiting and exciting creations.

Just like its predecessor, the all-new Fiesta R5 will get its first public outing at next month’s Ypres Rally – Éric Camilli taking to the wheel as the event’s VIP car. As one of the most experienced development drivers around, Camilli knows the car inside out and the event’s fast asphalt roads provide the perfect setting for the car’s debut performance.

More information on the all-new Fiesta R5 can be found in the Technical Specification, and those wishing to make an order are encouraged to contact M-Sport’s dedicated Sales Team at the following email address: R5Support@M‑

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“The Ford Fiesta R5 is our most successful global rally car. It’s a very special car for M-Sport and even though the original cars continue to win rallies and championships all over the world, we have taken our time to ensure this new model is even better with performance gains in every area.

“The test programme has been extensive, and we have worked hard to ensure this new car suits every level of driver. We have quite literally travelled the world – testing on a wide range of surfaces, in varying conditions and with a whole host of drivers taking to the wheel. This car is extremely important to us, and its adaptability is vital to its success.

“I’m extremely proud of this project. As a company we have always promoted young talent, and the design and development of the all-new Fiesta R5 was headed by one of our most ambitious young engineers – Bernardo Fernandes.

“We’ve always given opportunities to youngsters who show a real drive and passion for what they do. Bernardo is a prime example of this, and having driven the car myself I can tell you that he and his team have done a fantastic job. I’m looking forward to seeing the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 in action, and hope to secure even more success!”

Ford Performance Senior Manager, Gerard Quinn, said:

“This is another important milestone for Ford as the introduction of the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 heralds the introduction of the latest in motorsport technology packaged into Europe’s best-selling car in its category.

“Ford investment in the new Fiesta R2 revealed earlier this year and the latest Fiesta R5 ensures that we are supporting a sustainable future in rally for competitors and our partners M-Sport.

“This new Fiesta R5 also enables us to provide a high-quality replacement for its remarkably successful predecessor which was introduced six years ago. In the past two seasons the Fiesta R5 has won more than 40 championships globally, and we are looking forward to much more success with this latest model.”

M-Sport Rally Engineer, Bernardo Fernandes, said:

“This was my first time heading up a project. It was a challenge, but also a real privilege to be given the responsibility. The outgoing Ford Fiesta R5 was so successful, and is still very competitive in the right hands, but we have taken our time to revise and improve every area of the car.

“The R5 category has always been extremely competitive and the biggest challenge is in finding the best compromise between cost and performance. We had a lot of previous experience that helped, and devised a rigorous test programme with a range of different surfaces and drivers.

“The whole team have worked exceptionally hard and we pushed every element to the limit in search of peak performance and reliability. I also need to say a special thanks to Richard Christensen who headed up the design team – his input was integral to the project and we couldn’t have done it without him.

“Overall, I’m confident that we’ve taken a significant step forward and I’m looking forward to seeing what the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 can deliver in the hands of our customers.”












Anna Louise Rudd
Media M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Photos: @M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

8 June 2019

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