Having dominated day one of Rally Curitiba, Kris Meeke successfully secured victory in the Brazilian round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Meeke stormed to victory on each of the seven stages on leg one of the gravel event and carried a healthy lead into Saturday's second leg, where he was forced to act as road-sweeper as the first man into the stages.
Despite seeing his advantage cut to 26.2 seconds, Meeke successfully brought his Peugeot UK-entered 207 S2000 to the finish ahead of fellow Peugeot driver Nicolas Vouilloz for his first win of the year.
“This is one of the best rallies I have ever experienced,” he said. “From start to finish, it was simply awesome. The stages are just incredible: so enjoyable to drive. I had a really good feeling with the car and the team and at the end of it we got the perfect result.”
Vouilloz took second place after battling ahead of the Abarth Punto of Giandomenico Basso on the final afternoon, while Freddy Loix finished fourth and now leads the championship standings, with Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Ogier not taking part in the Brazilian event.
Meeke and Vouilloz set exactly the same time on the final stage of the rally, before heading back for the podium ceremony at the Curitiba circuit ahead of the opening qualifying session of the WTCC season.
Vouilloz had overhauled Abarth driver Giandomenico Basso on the final afternoon, with the Italian eventually finishing third. With Meeke clear in the lead, the pair had been locked in a tight battle for the runner-up spot throughout the two days of the rally, with Vouilloz initially claiming an advantage before Basso passed him on the final stage of day one.
This meant that the duo headed into the last day of the rally separated by just 0.3 seconds and when Basso stalled on the opening stage of the final afternoon, losing about ten seconds in the process, Vouilloz was able to make his move, which he defended to the end.
Peugeot Belgium's Freddy Loix was fourth, to move into the championship lead by three points. From the beginning, Loix - who finished second in Monte Carlo – had admitted that his aim was to take the series lead in Brazil rather than push hard for victory, while the former WRC runner was also faced with the fact he had to run first on the road on day one.