Kris Meeke, in the Team Palmer Opel Corsa, has secured the 2003 British Super 1600 title on the Rally of Yorkshire, the penultimate round of the British Rally Championship.

The young Dungannon man only required to finish in third place to secure the title, but won his third S1600 event of the season in the Opel Corsa.

The McRae prot?g? produced a mature drive to keep Gwyndaf Evans in check in the early stages. Evans benefited from an overshoot from Meeke on stage two and managed to establish a ten second lead. Kris, although under strict orders to simply get to the finish, was still able to reel in the Welshman and was within five seconds of the lead, when the MG suffered terminal gearbox problems. The Opel driver was left with almost a minute lead to the next S1600 challenger.

"This has not been easy, as it's usually easier to concentrate when you're driving at 100 per cent. I knew we only had to finish third, but the times just seemed to be there. The only adjustment to the car was to raise the ride height for the second loop of stages, as it getting somewhat rutted," said Meeke.

With a minute lead heading into day two and only 40 competitive stage miles, Meeke coasted to victory to secure the British S1600, and the Junior title for the second year in succession.

"I am delighted to secure the Championship with one round remaining," said Meeke, "We never really set out to contest the championship in full, as the intention was to use these events as test sessions for the JWRC.

"The Pirelli International confirmed that the Opel package has the pace to compete for outright wins. Especially the second half of the season, the car has shown real pace and reliability.

"The spirit within the Palmer Team has been great, and hopefully we can have a good result on the Sanremo Rally, the first proper tarmac round of the JWRC."

 

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