Kris Meeke has admitted that he fully expected Skoda to dominate the sixth round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Russia earlier this month and insists he can't afford to drop any more points as a result.
Despite not including the gravel event in his schedule, Meeke continues to lead the IRC drivers' standings by a single point from Jan Kopecky, who finished second to his Skoda team-mate Juho Hanninen on the Vyborg-based rally.
"We saw on the opening event of the season just how strong the Skoda was," Meeke admitted. "We also saw on the Azores Rally how good the car was on gravel. Russia was also like a home rally for Hanninen and he showed the pace he could produce when he won in Russia last year."
Peugeot UK driver Meeke said Skoda's victory was a boost to the IRC, which has been dominated by the French manufacturer so far this season.
"From my point of view I'm delighted they won it,” he said. “They've put a lot of effort in so it's good they've been rewarded. Trying to beat them on the next rally they do will also give me another challenge to aim at.
"Skoda winning just shows how close this championship is. There's no way I can afford any more zero scores."