Kris Meeke

Kris closes 2017 season in Australia

Sunday, 19th November 2017 - by Site Admin
Kris closes 2017 season in Australia

Kris has rounded off an up-and-down 2017 season with seventh place on the closing event, Rally Australia.

The Northern Irishman and his co-driver, Paul Nagle, started today’s final leg of the event with little to gain, having been forced out of the regular timesheets with suspension damage on Saturday. They rejoined the event under Rally 2 rules, which allow retired crews to restart but with substantial time penalties.

The final leg’s conditions were mixed, with residual mud from heavy rain showers interspersed with Australia’s traditionally dusty surface. Kris experimented with his Citroen C3 WRC’s settings, hoping to learn some wet-weather tricks that could help as the team tries to improve the car for next season.

As such, outright pace was not a realistic goal today – but Kris still claimed fifth overall on the rally-closing PowerStage as he ended the event in seventh, enough to cement that position in the final drivers’ championship table.

“The idea today was to prepare for 2018,” Kris said at the finish. “From that perspective, it was pretty handy that it started raining because we could work in conditions where we have quite a lot of room for improvement. It wasn’t easy for me to push when I had nothing to gain, but what we have learned this morning will undoubtedly prove useful in the future.”

The 2017 season has been a difficult one for Kris and the Citroen Racing team, with victories in Mexico and Catalunya, but several tricky outings and a missed event in Poland. Kris is now looking forward to the closed season, where he and his engineers can work as hard as possible to improve the C3 WRC’s pace and consistency for a full crack at the world title in 2018.

Rally Australia – leading finishers
1 Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2h35m44.8s
2 Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC) +22.5s
3 Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20 WRC) +59.1s
4 Sebastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m27.7s
5 Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m05.6s
6 Esapekka Lappi (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m49.5s
7 Kris Meeke (Citroen C3 WRC) +22m58.4s