Munchi's Ford World Rally Team co-founder Luis-Perez Companc had a premature end to his final ever WRC event last weekend, when he was forced to pull out at the end of day two.

Companc, who was running just outside the top ten and on course to pick up the final manufacturers' point, had enjoyed a fairly smooth run, his only minor issue an intercom problem on Friday's opening day.

However during the final test on Saturday he collided with a large rock and, while he was able to complete the stage, 500 metres after the finish, co-driver Jose Maria Volta began complaining of pain in his ribs.

Volta was subsequently taken by helicopter to Central Finland Health Care hospital in Jyvaskyla for 'precautionary checks'. He was later released with no broken bones but just some muscular soreness.

"It hasn't been the perfect end to my rally career and for sure we would have liked to get to the end of my last rally," Companc stated. "But we are in Finland, it is a very special place and as you can see, it can catch out any driver.

"With the accident we ran wide on a corner into the ditch and hit a boulder very hard on Jos?'s side. I could hear that he was winded and breathing heavily and he waved to continue to the end of the stage.

"Then the pain got worse and we stopped after the finish as it was too much for Jos? to continue. It was a surprise accident as the rally was going very well for us, we didn't expect to have been setting those times - and it all seemed to be under control."

Asked about his time in the WRC, and the 30 events he has taken in, Companc noted that he has a lot of fond memories from his years in action between 2001 to now.

Indeed as well as thanking his fans for all their support and Ford for their help, he unsurprisingly picked out last year's Rally Japan as one of his best outings, when he finished fifth.

"When I look back I would say after my home event of Rally Argentina then this event in Finland is my favourite rally. Argentina is special because of all the local fans cheering me on and that really is a great feeling; myself and Jos? must thank them all for their wonderful support over the years," he added.

"I also have great memories of Rally Japan last year when we were fighting with Matthew [Wilson] for fourth position, I had a very inspiring drive and was able to push hard and drive very near to my limit without making any mistakes; that really was my best result.

"In 2004 when we were racing in the WRC I very nearly retired from the sport. But I spoke with Malcolm [Wilson] and saw how the M-Sport team worked and this really changed my mind.

"We just want to thank him, Ford and all the team at M-Sport for some wonderful times together and putting so much effort in to help the Munchi's team. I can say that we really will miss them all."


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