Kris Meeke says the end of his competitive outings in 2016 for Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen completes 'a very special period' having established himself at the top of the WRC order ahead of a 2017 title tilt.
The Northern Irish driver finished Wales Rally GB in fifth place to conclude his truncated 2016 WRC campaign having split his time to help develop Citroen's 2017 challenger ahead of the regulations revamp.
Meeke was a stronger contender for victory in both Rallye Monte Carlo and Rally Sweden before crashes and collisions halted his charges, but wins at Rally Portugal and Rally Finland allowed the Brit to stamp his place at the WRC top table.
“We've had a fantastic season. It was very important four me to keep competing in rallies, looking ahead to 2017,” Meeke said. “Yes, we won two rallies in Portugal and in Finland, but we also had a very high level of performance in Monte-Carlo, Sweden and Corsica.
“I did my best here in Wales and I'm pleased with my performance, given the conditions. It's the end of a very special period for me, as the last three seasons have enabled me to secure my place at the highest level. But above all, I can't wait to get started next season.”
With a full WRC programme ahead of him in 2017, Meeke is targeting a world title fight and with the news of Volkswagen withdrawing its efforts in the series at the end of this year the factory Citroen driver could be considered a pre-season championship favourite.