Kris Meeke says his focus is firmly on trying to secure the Intercontinental Rally Challenge title after the confirmation that he will join the factory Peugeot team for the 2009 season.
Meeke will contest the upcoming campaign in a 207 S2000 run by the Kronos Racing team, with backing coming from Peugeot UK. The deal comes after months of discussions behind the scene, although he admitted that to secure a factory drive had been beyond his expectations.
"It's been a lot of hard work to be honest right from May of 2008," he told Crash.net Radio
. "We basically made a decision to try and be in a Super 2000 car because I thought it would end up being the future of the WRC. As it turns out now the FIA has made the decision that the World Rally Championship will be Super 2000, or a variant of, from 2010. It's proved to be the right decision, but little did I think then that we'd end up for this year with a factory drive for Peugeot. It's a very exciting place to be; we have the full support of Peugeot UK and I'm really looking forward to it.
"There's a certain amount of luck in coming across the right person at the right time. But unless you're doing the right things and putting the effort in then you won't trip across that type of luck. So you make your own luck up to a certain degree, but I have to say that Peugeot UK have been fantastic; they have welcomed the deal with open arms and are fully behind it. Now we're joining the factory squad and Kronos so it's an awesome place to be."
Meeke will get his first taste of the car in a two-day session ahead of the Monte Carlo Rally later this month, but he said he was confident of fighting for honours from the outset as he seeks to secure a place in the WRC for 2010.
"That's the plan [to get into the WRC] but you just never know in this game what is around the corner," he said. "I have an opportunity now but I can't sit back and think that's it. I've got to work hard and make the most of it and you are only as good as your results.
"This season I'm aiming to get the best championship position possible. You have to have belief in your ability and I do believe that, if things go my way, it's possible to win the championship. But at the same token you have to put yourself in a position where you can pick up good points if things don't go your way, you have to be cautious and sensible. And, as you say, it would be nice to put myself in a position to continue with Peugeot the following year."