Rally Australia: Meeke to start tenth in order

Britain's Kris Meeke opts to run tenth – and as far back as possible – on leg one having topped the times in qualifying for Rally Australia.
Unsurprisingly, Kris Meeke has chosen to run tenth in the order on the opening day of Rally Australia.

Meeke headed Sebastien Ogier in qualifying and that earned him the right to select his starting position first. He took the decision to go tenth and last of the WRC runners as he should now benefit from a cleaner line on Friday, as his rivals ahead will have to 'sweep' the road.

Meanwhile, the rest of the WRC runners all followed Meeke's lead, with Sebastien Ogier picking ninth position and Thierry Neuville – who was third in qualifying – going for P8 and so on.

“Of course the second fastest time in Qualifying would have been better than third, but Kris was on a really big push and I am happy with my position. It was not a perfect run, and we could have gone faster in places, but eighth on the road is not a bad place to be," Neuville stated.

“Now, we just need to get a good rhythm from the start and take each stage as it comes. My main aim this weekend is to keep hold of my second place in the championship so we will be keeping a close eye on Jari-Matti [Latvala].”

“I think we had a good run in Qualifying," added Ostberg, who was fourth fastest and who will run P7 in the order. "We decided to go on the hard tyre which will give us more options for the rally. We were the only ones to do that and I think it was a clever choice. The time was good, and I think we are in a really good position for the rally."

“We'll start seventh on the road which should hopefully give us a cleaner road, and with three minute gaps on the kind of stages we will see tomorrow, I don't think dust will be a problem,” he added.

Nathan Quinn and Khalid Al-Qassimi meanwhile will run first and second, having been slowest in qualifying, and will thus be the two main road sweepers.

The action now gets underway with two runs through the short 1.60 km Coffs super special stage, scheduled to start at 18.30 hours local time [09.30 hours UK time]. The event then starts 'proper' on Friday, with SS3, the 8.44 km Tuckers Nob 1 test, scheduled to begin at 10.03 hours local time [01.03 hours UK time].

Rally Australia: Day 1 running order:

1. Nathan Quinn MINI John Cooper Works WRC
2. Khalid Al-Qassimi Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC
4. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC
5. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC
6. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC
7. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC
8. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC
9. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC
10. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kris Meeke (GBR) Chrs Patterson (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Chrs Patterson (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Chrs Patterson (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Chrs Patterson (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC

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