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Meeke dominates first day in Brazil

Kris Meeke has dominated the opening day of the Curitiba Rally in Brazil after a clean sweep of stage wins on the first leg of the latest round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

The Peugeot UK driver didn't put a foot wrong as he led the way on all seven stages to ensure he made it back to parc ferme at the end of the day with a lead approaching the 50 second mark.

For Meeke, it was the ideal way to kick-start the event after his disappointing retirement in Monte Carlo, and he admitted he was hoping for rain to help protect his lead on Saturday's second leg.

“It's been the perfect day for me,” he said. “I've really enjoyed myself driving this car over these fantastic roads. I have to say that this is one of the best rallies I have ever driven on. It's amazing how when you have a good feeling with the car, everything just comes easily.

“The contrast with Monte Carlo could not be greater: I think Monte Carlo was the most difficult rally I have ever done. Here, I'm feeling very confident. But tomorrow is sure to be a much more difficult day than today. I'm going to be first on the road and that means I'll definitely lose time.

“It's going to be hard to set fastest times tomorrow but if we can look after the margin that we have, then that's obviously a great result. If it rains that should help us too, so I'm going to do a rain dance tonight!”

While the contest for the lead was clear cut, the battle for second place was much closer. On the final stage of the day, factory Abarth Grande Punto driver Giandomenico Basso got past the Peugeot Belgium 207 S2000 of Nicolas Vouilloz, concluding a battle that had lasted throughout the afternoon.

Both drivers enjoyed a clean run throughout the day with no major problems, but in the end it was Basso who overhauled the reigning IRC champion to hold second at the end of the day; the pair split by just 0.3 seconds

“It's been a good day, where we've had no problems, and it's nice to end it with an exciting battle like we had with Nicolas this afternoon,” he said. “I wasn't so comfortable with the car on the first stage of the afternoon loop, but we were able to push progressively harder towards the end of it and set some good times. Tomorrow though I think will be a lot more tricky: the route is a lot more technical and also narrower, so there is a bigger risk of punctures and getting into trouble. So far we've managed to avoid that, so hopefully we can keep it this way tomorrow.”



Related Pictures

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Kris Meeke in action on the Curitiba Rally [Pic credit: IRC]
DIOGO SALVI (PRT) - PAULO BABO (PRT) FORD FIESTA R5
MIGUEL CAMPOS (PRT) - CARLOS A. MAGALHÃES (PRT) SKODA FABIA R5
PONTUS TIDEMAND (SWE) - JONAS ANDERSSON (SWE) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Jipocar Czech National Team
VALERIY GORBAN (UKR) - VOLODYMYR KORSIA (UKR) BMW MINI JOHN COOPERS WORKS WRC, EUROLAMP WRT
podio, Kris Meeke (BR) Paul Nagle (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport and 3th Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
podio, Kris Meeke (BR) Paul Nagle (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport and 3th Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
podio, Kris Meeke (BR) Paul Nagle (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport and 3th Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA and Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
SIMONE TEMPESTINI (ITA) CITROEN DS3 R3
Nicolás FUCHS (PER) -  Fernando MUSSANO (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5
MARIUS AASEN (NOR) - VERONICA ENGAN (NOR) FORD FIESTA R5, DRIVE DMACK TROPHY TEAM

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John Kilbride - Unregistered

March 07, 2009 10:06 AM

Well done Kris, why did your performance on this event warrant just one report from this site. IRC seems a much more level playing field and the cars are going to form the basis for future rallying.



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