WRC Rallye Deutschland: Meeke blames 'optimistic' pace-note for crash

Pace-note error on Rallye Deutschland deprives Britain's Kris Meeke of first WRC win
Citroen's Kris Meeke has insisted he didn't crack under the pressure on Sunday when he inherited the lead on Rallye Deutschland.

Meeke started the final day a minute off overnight leader, Jari-Matti Latvala. However he soon found himself top of the leaderboard, when the Finn went out in the opening test.

Meeke's spell in P1, however, did not last long, and just 2 kilometres into the next stage he went out when he hit a wall and ripped off the left rear wheel on his Citroen DS3 WRC car. He later revealed that a pace-note that was a “little bit over optimistic” was to blame.

It brought to an end a fine run in Germany for the Ulsterman, who had looked set for a podium for virtually all of the event.

“The first stage [today] was really very difficult. When I learned that Jari-Matti had stopped, it didn't really change my state of mind though. I wasn't affected by the possibility of winning…” Meeke stated.

“I was relaxed and focussed at the start of SS16. But I had a pace-note that was a little bit too optimistic at the start of the stage. We hit something with the front wheel. I felt a big vibration and we went off on the next corner and crashed into a wall.

“I'm really disappointed for everyone in the team, who have been working so hard to get results. But we showed that we were on the pace. We'll have to start thinking about the next rally now.”

Citroen team principal Yves Matton added: “It's really disappointing, because we were so close to winning. The team and Kris Meeke had had a perfect rally until this morning. We had wanted to be in position to take advantage of the slightest opportunity. Unfortunately, we were unable to grab it when it came along.

“Kris [still] had a very good rally, however. After Finland, he continued to improve his pace. In Australia, he'll be able to show us what he is capable of again.”

Mads Ostberg meanwhile finished sixth in the sister car and despite a tough event said he was happy with the result.

“I'm pleased to have made it to the end of the rally. Before the start, the goal was to finish in the top five. Unfortunately, we weren't consistent enough on all of the stages. [But] it's still a decent result, because we are only twenty seconds off the podium.

“We were just missing a little something, although the most important thing was to rack up the miles and experience for the upcoming events on tarmac,” he stated.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)

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August 26, 2014 10:27 AM
Last Edited 151 days ago

As stated in earlier posts, there are not many drivers available for M-Sport or Citroen and by the end of the season Meeke will either be Re Signed in a hurry or Malcolm will swoop on him, but there is no way the only Guy chasing Latvala and Ogier and making them nervous is going to be with out a drive in 2015. It seems the kerb that Meeke mounted on the fast right before he went off caused a puncture and that's what he was referring to when he said we hit something, even Paul (co-driver) asked if everything was ok after that. He should of been suspicious of a puncture, but when your in the lead like that, the last thing you want to do is brake on a flat out section of road to see how the car responds. He said he had a vibration so im sure he knew that it was over anyway. Its a shame as I think he fully deserved a win after all his efforts to get the drive and prove to everyone how good he really is. Especially after his Monster Finland performance and again in Germany.

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