Kris Meeke

Kris second after first day in GB

Friday, 13th November 2015 - by Site Admin
Kris second after first day in GB

Kris holds a fine second overall after the opening day of Wales Rally GB, his home event and the closing round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.

Held in typically testing, slippery conditions, today’s schedule comprised a loop of three stages in the morning that was then repeated in the afternoon. Kris was instantly on the pace, easing into third place after the opening stage and then moving up to second once Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out in SS2.

The Northern Irishman’s high point of the day undoubtedly came during SS4, the repeat run through Hafren, where he scalped more than five seconds off leader Sebastien Ogier to deny the Frenchman a clean sweep of fastest stage times today. Kris consolidated his place in Sweet Lamb and Myherin to end today’s action 13.5s off the reigning world champion, and nearly 18s clear of the other VW Polo WRC of Andreas Mikkelsen.

‘It’s been a near-perfect day,’ said Kris. ‘We made a bit of a mistake in the first stage this morning and lost a few seconds, but apart from that I’ve been really happy with our pace. I have to say that the few little changes we’ve made to the car since we were here last year are giving me a great feeling with it.

‘With the road position today, I’m especially happy, because I think on the first pass through stages you certainly would have wanted to have been first on the road. The second pass was more equal and I think we saw that in SS4, when I wasn’t really pushing on a big charge but I still managed to set fastest time. You get this slate-like stone and once you’re through to it it’s like ice – very tricky.

‘As it turns out, we’re second overnight, which is great. We expected Andreas Mikkelsen to be really fast here so it’s good to have a few seconds in hand over him. That said, tomorrow is a huge day – we start with a loop of 111km of stages with no tyre change, and then there’s some running in the dark at the end of the day.

‘Sebastien Ogier isn’t the target; we’re focusing on that second place for Citroen in the manufacturer’s championship. But it’ll be interesting to see how he copes with the different conditions tomorrow, when he has some guys like Thierry Neuville and Jari-Matti Latvala running ahead of him on the road. There’s a long way to go yet.’

Tomorrow’s schedule includes nine stages – a loop of two tests repeated in the morning, then another pair that are repeated in the afternoon, plus a spectator-friendly blast around Chirk Castle. The event closes with a short schedule and ceremonial finish on Sunday.

Wales Rally GB – leading positions after SS6
1 Sebastien Ogier (VW Polo WRC) 1h16m03.5s
2 Kris Meeke (DS 3 WRC) +13.5s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen (VW Polo WRC) +31.4s
4 Mads Ostberg (DS 3 WRC) +43.0s
5 Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1m18.7s
6 Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m34.9s