Kris Meeke admits that this week's Monte Carlo Rally is the 'most daunting and challenging event' on which to start the defence of his Intercontinental Rally Challenge title defence.

Meeke stormed to the title for the Peugeot UK team last season, although his campaign started in far from ideal fashion when he suffered one the biggest accidents of his career in the opening round of the year.

Heading into the event this time around, Meeke admitted it would be the most difficult of the entire IRC season and said it wasn't always the driver who was quick who would emerge as the winner.

"It's the oldest and the most prestigious rally in the world and it really makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just thinking about it because it's also the most daunting and challenging event of the year," he said. "From a driving point of view your heart is in your mouth all the time because the conditions are constantly changing and you're never always on the right tyre.

"You can win the rally not by going quickest on any of the stages but by reading the conditions correctly and trusting your instincts."