Kris Meeke believes he's proven his credentials to fight at the front of the WRC pack and is aiming for a return to the rostrum at 'one of the roughest rallies'.

The Northern Irishman has battled back from a difficult start to 2015 by claiming his maiden WRC victory in Argentina and narrowly missing out on back-to-back podiums with a fourth place finish in Portugal. The factory Citroen man finished top non-Volkswagen driver last time out and feels his recent form has shown the rest of the WRC field he can slug it out, which will be essential in Italy.

"Since Mexico, we have shown that we are capable of consistently fighting at the front, so we need to keep up our good form," Meeke said. "A podium finish would therefore be a perfect result.

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"This is one of the roughest rallies in the championship. The roads are narrow with stones and exposed rocks just off the racing line. So, this event calls for very precise notes and very clean driving. Some sections are bit like a marathon. And the high temperatures are also going to add to the difficulties."

Meeke also feels the heavily revised Rally d'Italia route could act as a leveller which has the potential to bring his Citroen DS3 machine closer towards its Volkswagen rivals.

"The route is fairly different for 2015. Although Rally Italia Sardegna is one the events I am most familiar with, I think it's a very good thing that a lot of the stages are new this year. Everyone will start with new pace notes," he said.

Rally d'Italia will act as round six of the 2015 World Rally Championship and is scheduled for the 12-14 June.