WRC Rally Australia: 'Strongest performance of season' for Meeke

Citroen driver Kris Meeke feels he is getting “stronger and stronger”; hails Rally Australia drive as his “strongest performance of the season so far”
Citroen's Kris Meeke thinks he put in his “strongest performance of the season so far” on Rally Australia.

Meeke led for most of Friday, before slipping back to fourth in the short Hyundai super special stages. He then had a good scrap for the final podium place with Andreas Mikkelsen on day two and initially finished the leg just 1.5 seconds back, until he was handed a 61 second penalty for excessively cutting a corner in SS10. That dropped him to fifth, 0.6 second behind Mikko Hirvonen.

However, on the final day, Meeke re-took fourth in the opening stage of the day and eventually finished comfortably ahead, winning his third stage of the event in SS17, when he was 1.2 seconds up on Jari-Matti Latvala. In total the Ulsterman managed 17 top-five times from a possible 20.

“To be honest, I think this is my strongest performance so far this season, even though we have finished fourth with the penalty. It is a strange feeling,” Meeke reflected.

“I feel I am really getting closer to the other guys. Okay, Seb [Ogier] and Jari are still out of reach for the moment and I still have work to do to catch them but I'm enjoying myself,” he added.

“In Finland, in Germany and this week in Australia, we have been fighting at the front. This is my first full season in WRC, but I feel I'm getting stronger and stronger. We will have to keep it up at the Rallye de France.”

Citroen team principal Yves Matton commented: “Kris is continuing to do everything we have asked of him. He's proving that he is one of the fastest drivers in this second half of the season by fighting at the front.”

“We [also] saw today that Kris was capable of setting some very good times without really pushing [too]. He had the potential to end the rally within thirty seconds of the winner,” Matton added.

Meanwhile, Mads Ostberg had a tougher event in the sister DS3 WRC car, eventually finishing down in 16th after he had to stop to repair a broken suspension arm in the penultimate stage. He had been running sixth, 4.6 seconds up on Hayden Paddon in P7 and around a minute off Meeke in P4.

“It was a tough weekend for us,” Ostberg noted, “although we did improve the more stages we completed. We were able to show our speed and managed to defend our position against Hayden Paddon.

"Unfortunately, we had a damaged rear suspension arm on the penultimate stage. We were able to repair it in order to finish the race, but we were really unlucky. We will have to switch our focus now to the Rallye de France-Alsace, Citroen's home event.”
by Rob Wilkins

Tagged as: Meeke , Citroën , Rally Australia

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kris Meeke (GBR) Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC

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September 15, 2014 10:17 AM
Last Edited 319 days ago

Again, I don't like being critical of Rally drivers but I did say at the start of the season that by the second half of the season Kris would be the star in the Citroen Camp and that Mads would unfortunately be affected by this and his driving would suffer if Kris was to perform substantially better than Mads its strange how one driver can prosper and the other goes down hill, yet they both have the same opportunities and the same machinery. Its a similar story at the M-Sport Team, only the reasons are different. Its a shame for Latvala that he made a poor Tyre choice, I suppose if it had rained as he suspected, it would of been the better choice though, so I guess its just the luck of the draw. Well done to VW for wrapping up the Title, but Well done to Kris for his strongest performance yet. I think now he knows he is comfortable and he has now proved beyond a doubt what he is capable of (given a fair chance). He can just Relax and enjoy the driving from here on.


September 15, 2014 6:19 PM

I agree totally, I too said Meeke would come good later in the season once he had events under his belt, it's all about confidence with him, he's a class act, super fast & only needed the opportunity in a WRC car. Watch him only improve from here on. Makes WRC so much more interesting with Kris in there & yes, Rally GB is a very possible win for Kris. Here's hoping Citroen confirm his seat for 2015 very soon. I do think they'll just keep the same drivers.

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