Citroen's Kris Meeke reckons he could have finished much better on Rally Poland last weekend had he had a bit more luck.
Meeke ran third initially, but slipped back on Friday in the rough Lithuanian stages – organisers had to cancel the repeat runs as the road conditions had deteriorated so badly. The Ulsterman then had a puncture on Saturday in SS14 costing him over 2 minutes and dropping him from fifth overall to eleventh. He fought back, however, and climbed back into the points, eventually finishing in seventh place.
“It's been a frustrating event in some ways because we had good early pace and then we had to fight road conditions in Lithuania, which didn't help us. We did well when we came back to Poland but then we picked up that puncture on the long stage [on day three]," Meeke said.
“I was happy with my speed this [Sunday] morning though, and it puts me in a good frame of mind ahead of Finland.”
“Climbing back up from eleventh to finish seventh isn't a bad result,” he added back in service, “but it could have been much better.
“I'm nonetheless pleased to have gained in confidence [though] and gathered a lot of data to help us prepare well for the next round in Finland.”
Meeke's team-mate Mads Ostberg meanwhile failed to finish, after hitting a rock on Saturday in SS14 and rolling his Citroen DS3 WRC – the same rock also took out Elfyn Evans and damaged the Volkswagen of Jari-Matti Latvala. Ostberg had been running in third, 18.2 seconds up on Latvala prior to his exit.
“Our drivers proved that the changes made to the set-up of the DS3 WRCs were heading in the right direction,” summarised Citroen boss Yves Matton.
“Mads showed that he has the ability to match the best at the front in the second half of the season. Kris is beginning to pick up his pace and build his confidence. He managed the rally very well, especially on the stages where he was at a disadvantage due to his road position.”