Kris Meeke

Kris holds fifth on Rally GB

Friday, 28th October 2016 - by Site Admin
Kris holds fifth on Rally GB

Kris has extracted the maximum from his DS 3 WRC to overcome tricky conditions and hold down a top-five placing at the end of the opening day of Rally GB, his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

After a recce held in a mixture of sunshine and showers, today’s first day of action in the Welsh forests brought wetter gravel that quickly turned to mud. The conditions were perfect for the crews running further up the order – and far from ideal from Kris, who was starting further down the top 10 as a result of his partial WRC programme this year.

Even so, Kris and his co-driver Paul Nagle were in the hunt for top-five placings from the start; they were sixth in the day’s opening test, Myherin, and then retained that position through the short Sweet Lamb stage. By the end of the day’s first loop of four stages, the DS 3 pairing held fourth.

Conditions were more slippery for everyone in the afternoon, but the cut-up surface didn’t play to the DS’s strengths – and while Kris moved up to third overall after problems hit the VW Polo of Jari-Matti Latvala, he wasn’t able to stop the Hyundais of Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon moving ahead in the final test of the day. As a result, Kris brought his car back to evening service in fifth place, but just a handful of seconds off the final podium position.

“It’s been a tough day mainly because of the conditions,” said Kris. “I’ve been happy with my driving and I think we’ve really managed to get the best out of the car, because these types of roads – first the muddy stuff and then when it cuts up – don’t suit the DS 3 particularly. So when you perform to the maximum, you have to count it as a good day. We just know there are certain areas with this car that are limited and we’ve found them.”

Tomorrow’s schedule comprises another eight stages, including some of the most famous names in Rally GB and RAC Rally history. Indeed, one of the tests, Dyfi, is the very stage where Kris began his rallying career on the Bulldog Rally back in 2000. The rally finishes on Sunday after a short day including just six stages.

Rally GB – leading positions after SS8
1 Sebastien Ogier (VW Polo WRC) 1h44m31.2s
2 Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC) +37.3s
3 Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1m09.0s
4 Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1m12.8s
5 Kris Meeke (DS 3 WRC) +1m14.8s
6 Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2m07.2s