Kris Meeke

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Kris's top five Citroen drives

Sunday, 17th January 2016 - by Site Admin
Kris's top five Citroen drives

In preparation for the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, Kris has named his top five drives so far in a Citroen (or a DS, if you’re being absolutely accurate about it!). Here they are, starting with his favourite and running through four other great drives behind the wheel of a car carrying the double-chevron badge.

Rally Argentina 2015 - pic by Andre Lavadinho

Number 1: Rally Argentina 2015

‘The top one has to be Argentina, doesn’t it? My first victory in the World Rally Championship and it’s always going to be special, no matter how much further my career develops or how much more we go on to achieve.

‘The first one will always be special – but in a particular way, it was a special result for Citroen Racing too, because the 2015 Rally Argentina was exceptionally rough. There was a massive storm in the months leading up to the rally and a lot of the roads had been washed away through water damage. There were massive rocks in the road and it proved how strong the DS 3 WRC was, and is.

‘Citroen Racing do build an incredibly strong car, and this event showed it. Lots of people hit trouble on that event and our car ran very close to faultlessly all weekend, really; we led from the beginning to the end. We had good speed in the beginning when we needed to but I have to admit, there were times when it was a bit nervous in there. When you’re leading your first WRC event you know what’s possible, and you do think about it; I’m just glad all that experience is in the memory banks now.

‘Rally Argentina really is one of the classics in the WRC; it’s been on the calendar for many, many years and it was a really incredible feeling to get my first win on that round.’

Rallye Monte Carlo 2014 - pic by Citroen Racing

Number 2: Rallye Monte Carlo 2014

‘Tricky one, now. But possibly Monte Carlo 2014; it was my first event as part of the factory team. I’d had two events the previous season but in Monte Carlo, really tricky conditions, we managed to bring it home to a podium place on my first event as part of the full campaign.

‘It really was a solid start to my career with the Citroen Racing team; okay, we’ve had a few shaky moments since, but to be handed the opportunity and then put everything into practice on such a tricky rally like Monte Carlo, it was a great to be able to pay back people like Yves Matton and the Citroen board who’d selected me for that year. It was a special feeling.’

Rally GB 2015 - pic by Andre Lavadinho

Number 3: Rally GB 2015

‘I did say after Rally GB 2015 that it was possibly my strongest performance to date, so there’s an argument for it actually being number one. But I’m comfortable with it just being in the top three.

‘I do think this has been my strongest performance in a rally car to date, though. We finished within half a minute of Sebastien Ogier over three days and in horrendous conditions in Wales, when all the pressure was on. Right from mid-season my career had been on the line, really, and to withstand that, knowing that we had to get a good result but at the same time, not knowing what the future would be in 2016 and beyond, was tremendously satisfying. I just tried to forget about everything else and drive with freedom, using my experience and knowledge of the event and expressing myself with the rally car, and it was a really nice feeling. I felt solid all weekend – more solid, I’d say, than when I won in Argentina – so I think it was my best performance in a car.

‘It’s a fine line in this game, and there’s no doubt that timing worked out well for me, putting in this sort of performance at the very point when I was beginning to negotiate over 2016 and beyond. It did play a massive factor in securing my new deal with Citroen; Rally GB 2015 may well prove to be the most important result of my career. So it slots in at number three, but could easily have been number one.’

Rallye Monte Carlo 2005 - pic by Citroen Racing

Number 4: Rallye Monte Carlo 2005

‘We’re going back a bit for this one: Monte Carlo 2005! I was in a Citroen C2 Super 1600, and I’d been selected for the Citroen Junior World Rally Championship team for that season. I went to the opening round of the season, Monte Carlo, and managed to win the Junior section on my first outing in a factory Citroen.

‘It was an exciting time for me, and a real privilege to have been selected for the Citroen JWRC team. But Monte is a challenging event to start any campaign, so to go there and get that sort of result was particularly satisfying. The championship didn’t work out for me, as it turned out, but that Monte win was a huge thing for me at the time, because it proved I had the pace that had persuaded people to give me that chance. Sebastien Loeb won the event overall, so my win made it a Citroen double act. We all left Monte with a good feeling, for sure.

Rally Portugal 2015 - pic by Andre Lavadinho

Number 5: Rally Portugal 2015

‘I think number five has to be Rally Portugal 2015. We came off the back of the win on the previous event in Argentina and obviously the confidence was good, but Portugal was a new rally for everybody. The rally had moved north to Porto and had new stages for us, with new pacenotes.

‘Throughout day one and day two we were able to really push Jari-Matti Latvala for the top spot. We were lying second overall halfway through the rally, the speed was good and we got within six seconds of Jari. Then going into the final morning, unfortunately we’d a small problem with the anti-roll bar in the last loop of stages and we couldn’t attack. We had to settle for a steadier pace and that ended up being for fourth place, behind the three VWs.

‘For me, it was one of my best ever performances; in fact, I’d even rate it a little bit ahead of Argentina in terms of ultimate pace, in some ways. Sometimes you can rate your performance really highly but the result itself isn’t there; you know what you’ve done behind the wheel that weekend and you’re happy. Portugal 2015 would definitely be in that category for me.’

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