Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT man Kris Meeke has said he would be pleased with a WRC top-five finish on Rally Mexico this weekend.
Meeke finished tenth in Sweden last month in his DS3 WRC car, his very first outing on snow, and he is now looking forward to getting back onto gravel, a surface he is much more familiar with.
Furthermore, while he has never competed on the Leon-based event before, he is still pretty confident.
“It won't be the same as in the last rally, where I had to get used to driving on snow,” Meeke commented ahead of round three of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship. “This time, it's on gravel and so it should be a lot simpler because I already have a fair bit of experience on this surface.”
“Mexico, however, requires a very different set-up [to Finland and Australia, the two gravel WRC events I did in 2013 with the Citroen DS3 WRC]. I have worked on the videos and have listened carefully to advice from the team and from Mads [Ostberg – my team-mate]. I still have some learning to do, but I'm pleased with the set-up that we found in testing,” he added. “The drop in power output [due to the high altitudes] could be an advantage for me because I have a lot of experience of competing in cars with normally-aspirated engines. You need a slightly different driving style and so that shouldn't be problem for me.”
“I'll be concentrating on my own race. I know that I'll have a good starting position for the long first day. The aim is to score as many points as we can on the overseas events. I'd be pleased with top five finish,” he confirmed.
Mads Ostberg meanwhile is also bullish and made the most of a good test session in Spain recently to get to grips with the DS3 WRC on gravel.
“We are still learning. But every mile we cover in the car makes me happy. Before Sweden [and finishing third there], I already liked how the car handled. The experience acquired on the snow though and the first test day on gravel has given me bags of confidence. We are working well with the team. We understand each other perfectly and we are making progress together,” said the Norwegian, who has competed in Mexico for the last three years, his best result being fourth overall in 2012.
“[Also] although we have to bear in mind that Rally Mexico will still be our first rally on gravel in the DS3 WRC, I'm convinced that we'll be competitive. I'm positive. A podium finish would be an excellent result,” summed-up the former Crash.net