Kris Meeke says he knew he could do well this weekend on Rally de Portugal, although he was still delighted to “not put a foot wrong” en-route
Meeke dominated the fifth round in the World Rally Championship in his PH Sport-run Citroen DS 3 WRC and made the most of his low start position to secure his second WRC victory, beating the Volkswagen's of Andreas Mikkelsen and Sebastien Ogier.
“It's been a very good weekend and from a personal point of view, not to put a foot wrong all weekend [is good too],” said the Abu Dhabi Total WRT man, who is just doing selected events this season.
“We came here knowing we could do something good. But we're not affecting a championship, so it's just a case of picking some rallies this year that keep me sharp [before Citroen returns in 2017]. I really enjoyed this rally last year – the stages have a really nice profile. And we had good speed here last year and I think we used our experience.
“The weather in the lead-up to the event, for sure on the recce, wasn't looking like we would have any benefit but there were a couple of days of sunshine. Friday wasn't perfectly clear but Saturday morning, for sure, we were able to make a good difference [with the lower start position].
“From Saturday lunchtime, it was a case of trying to protect it and not to put a foot wrong. To come here, do my job and get the result is very pleasing.”
Pressed on if he thought he could actually win though, he added: “A few weeks back, when we knew what we were doing and this was one of our rallies, you suspected coming here with a good road position you could do something good. But it is never simple to win a rally in the WRC. The weather in the lead-up changed our minds a little bit but the road position did play into our hands a bit.”
Meanwhile, Meeke paid tribute to PH Sport, the team charged with running the DS 3 WRCs in the World Rally Championship this season while Citroen is on its sabbatical.
“I must thank the entire team and PH Sport for the work done this weekend. It [the win] is good for me, good for the team and good for PH Sport – not forgetting that we are not under the official Citrown banner this year and the guys from PH Sport have done an incredible job.
“So I am really happy,” he concluded.