Kris started the 2014 season with a curious mix of targets. Having earned a full campaign with Citroen Racing in a DS3 WRC, he and co-driver Paul Nagle were obviously keen to show that they had enough pace to be a real contender. But at the same time, they badly needed to build up experience of the calendar, much of which was new to them.
This scenario was particularly prevalent during the first half of the season, where Kris faced many rallies for the first time altogether, and several others for the first time in a full-spec World Rally Car. Still, he started brilliantly, scoring a fine third overall on the notoriously fickle Rallye Monte Carlo after a mature, accomplished performance.
Things got tougher for a while thereafter, though. Kris was in line for a superb sixth overall on his first ever snow rally in a World Rally Car, Rally Sweden, but a last-day excursion into a snow bank dropped him back to tenth. Then in Mexico, another experience-gaining run looked set to net him at least a few WRC points – before he suffered terminal suspension damage in the very last stage.
Portugal was hardest of all. Kris turned up needing to make new pacenotes but conditions during the recce were abysmal. By his own admission, he struggled for pace and then rolled out on only the seventh stage. Worse still, his Citroen’s roll cage was damaged in the accident, so he wasn’t even able to take advantage of ‘Super Rally’ rules and rejoin to gain further experience.
Kris needed to bounce back and he did so brilliantly, with a fine drive to another podium finish on the very next event, Rally Argentina. Further podiums would follow in Finland and France, while only a last-day accident in Germany robbed Kris of what would have been his first WRC rally victory.
He ended the season in seventh in the WRC drivers’ standings – and had shown enough maturity and speed to earn a second full season in the Citroen Racing team in 2015.