Federico Villagra gave the homes fans reason to cheer on Rally Argentina as the Munchi's Ford man took his – and the team's – best ever World Rally Championship finish.
The seven-time Argentine Rally Champion had made the most of his local knowledge to run inside the points through the first two days, battling for position with Matthew Wilson before gradually pulling away from the Stobart Ford man.
Having started the final day on course to match his best WRC finish of sixth, Villagra then found himself in fourth by the finish after Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg ran into problems on the final leg, leaving him just one place away from what would have been a dream home podium.
Villagra now lies level with Latvala in the championship standings, having scored on each of his three outings so far this season.
“We really couldn't have hoped for more from this event and both Jorge and myself are delighted with the fourth place finish,” he said. “We wanted this rally to be special and it certainly was. The fans on the stages were a big boost to us and they really spurred me on and helped me raise my game. It wasn't an easy rally and the conditions were some of the roughest I have seen here, but we managed to keep the speed up without damaging the car.
“I really enjoyed the battle with Matthew but I think my experience on the stages helped to keep us in front of him. The plan coming into this rally was to try and achieve our best finish on our home event and I'm happy to say we have done just that.”
Villagra's fourth place also sees the Munchi's team close to within a single point of the Citroen Junior Team despite contesting two fewer events this season.
“It's been a perfect weekend and we have had a fantastic result on our home rally,” team manager Martin Christie said. “Everyone in the Munchi's Ford Team is absolutely delighted and Federico and Jorge have really given the local fans something to cheer about.
“We have closed the gap on the Citroen Junior Team, our nearest rivals in the manufacturer championship, and that's a great achievement considering we are a single-car team.”