Kris Meeke will hope for an impressive season in 2009 after a inking a deal with Peugeot to contest the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Meeke will debut in the 207 S2000 in the Monte Carlo Rally and the aim for the season is clear – to fight for the championship crown.
spoke to him at the Autosport International
to look to the year ahead...
We're here with Kris Meeke who was given a nice Christmas present with a deal to drive with Peugeot in the IRC this season. Kris how did the deal come about?
It's been a lot of hard work to be honest right from May of 2008. 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 World Rally. 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.
So how did a factory deal come about then if it wasn't what you were expecting? Did you just get lucky?
Well 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.
Looking at the driver line-up in the IRC this season, especially the season-opener at Monte Carlo, there's going to be some pretty big names taking part in the series. Do you think it's established itself pretty quickly?
Yeah for sure. The Monte Carlo entry says it all; you have four factory Peugeots, four factory Fiats, two factory Skodas and semi-factory output from Volkswagen. It's very, very exciting and just to be part of it I have to be grateful.
The championship for me is a breath of fresh air. It's a lot more open; they are allowing events to get back to what they used to be. Monte Carlo is back to a traditional style event, big road sections and covering all the terrain they used to cover. And it's going to exciting new places like Brazil, but still keeping the tradition of events like San Remo. It's a fascinating place to be and there's such a buzz about it and I think that's down to Eurosport the promoters.