Kris Meeke

Kris claims a podium in Oz

Sunday, 13th September 2015 - by Site Admin
Kris claims a podium in Oz

Kris has claimed an excellent podium finish on Rally Australia after a controlled drive on the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The Northern Irishman and his co-driver, Paul Nagle, held the lead for sizeable chunks of the event, as they used their position relatively far down the running order to gain a small advantage from the roads swept clean of loose gravel. Kris had hoped to carry the top position through to the final day – but the organisers’ decision to run Saturday afternoon’s final stage in the darkness left him struggling for visibility as dust hung in the night air.

As a result, Kris started Sunday’s final batch of stages in second, just tenths of a second behind the rally leader, reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier. Kris and Paul were once again the sole challengers to the dominant VWs but their DS 3 WRC wasn’t able to match the Polo WRCs on the same road conditions. Jari-Matti Latvala soon passed the DS 3 to move into second, and the third VW of Andreas Mikkelsen was closing in as the event neared its finish.

However, the Norwegian turned up at a time control one minute late, picking up a 10-second penalty in the process – and that margin was enough to ensure that Kris was able to bag a richly deserved podium finish after a terrific drive under pressure.

Kris said, ‘The primary target here was to make it to the finish and be consistent, after some tough events recently. And we achieved that. We led the rally for almost two days, and we really couldn’t have expected to do much more on the final leg. I have to say hats off to the Volkswagens, and we have to keep working hard. There are still plenty of stage miles to go in this championship and we have to build on this performance as we get towards the end of the season.’

The WRC moves back onto asphalt for its next event, the classic Tour de Corse on 1-4 October.

Rally Australia – leading finishers
1 Sebastien Ogier (VW Polo WRC) 2h59m16.4s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (VW Polo WRC) +12.3s
3 Kris Meeke (DS 3 WRC) +32.6s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen (VW Polo WRC) +38.5s
5 Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20 WRC) +55.1s
6 Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m38.0s