Federico Villagra (Ford) came up with an unbelievable victory in the Rally de Catamarca, fourth round of the Argentine Rally Championship, to claim his second win so far this season with the Fiesta Maxi Rally.

This round will be remember as one of the most extraordinary rallies of the last years, since there was five different leaders and three drivers dropping out of the race when leading the classification.

Juan Marchetto (Mitsubishi) was the first to take the lead after setting the best time in the opening stage on Friday night. Already in the mountain, Gabriel Pozzo (VW) clinched two stage victories in a row to command the rally; however on SS4 the former PWCR Champion cut to early a corner causing his Gol Trend Maxi Rally to roll over.

Automatically Villagra inherited the first position. Until that moment, "Coyote" hadn't been able to match Pozzo's pace but was clever enough to keep himself steady behind the leader. Unfortunately, not for a long time, Villagra collected a puncture on SS6 and dropped to sixth place 41,6 seconds adrift Miguel Baldoni (VW), the new rally's commander.

The WRC Academy driver held the lead until the last Saturday' stage, when his Gol Trend suffered a transmission failure that forced him to abandon the race. Behind Baldoni, Marcos Ligato (Chevrolet) was virtually the new leader; nevertheless and incredibly, the Tango driver broke a ball joint of his Agile Maxi Rally exactly in the same place where Baldoni got into trouble. The new leader was the Paraguayan Diego Domínguez (Kia), who claimed the leg's victory. Villagra also took advantage of his rival's retirements and climbed to second position.

The second day of action had only three stages scheduled, but there was more drama to come. Two of the stages were over 25 kilometres and the remaining one was the second pass through the Super Special.

Domínguez found himself in trouble opening and sweeping the road. The Team Baratec driver lost 13 seconds against Villagra, who reduced the gap to 8,9s. "Coyote" was feeling really confident with his speed, and the pressure he put on the leader of the race finally worked. On the penultimate stage Domínguez went off the road, and the VRS driver cruised on the Super Special to claim the victory.

Rally de Catamarca - Final classification

1º) F. Villagra-D. Curletto (Ford)     1h31m21,5s
2º) J. Marchetto-J. Díaz (Mitsubishi)     + 39,5s.
3º) Gil De Marchi-M. Albornoz (Chevrolet)    + 1m44,2s.
4º) I. Martin-M. Mercadal (Subaru)     + 2m41,1s.
5º) A. Elvira-O. Tagle (Mitsubishi)     + 3m28,7s.
6º) J. Cantón-R. Ortiz (Mitsubishi)     + 3m30,9s.
7º) G. Padilla-R. Kember (Ford)     + 3m47,5s.
8º) S. Abramian-L. Suaya (VW)     + 3m55,7s.
9º) J. Alonso-P. Monasterolo (Subaru)    + 4m17,5s.
10º) M. Bainotti-M. Der-Ohannesian (Mits)    + 9m52,5s.

Championship: 1º Marchetto 102 - 2º Villagra 93 - 3º Menzi 71,5 - 4º Pozzo 56,5 - 5º Gil De Marchi 54,5 - 6º Baldoni 53 - 7º Canton 50.


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