Kris Meeke

Kris happy after Corsica shakedown

Thursday, 5th April 2018 - by Site Admin
Kris happy after Corsica shakedown

Kris says he “can’t wait to get started” after setting the fastest time in shakedown for the Tour de Corse, the fourth round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

The Northern Irishman was comfortably clear of his rivals over the short stage, suggesting that the Citroen C3 WRC’s prowess on asphalt has not diminished over the winter. But the Dungannon driver believes the competition will be more fierce when the action begins in earnest tomorrow.

“At shakedown, we obviously set a good time, but the more important thing is that I had a really good feeling with the car,” Kris said. “The conditions were wet roads but no fresh rain, with some cuts and what we call ‘pollution’ – gravel that’s been pulled out into the road. But the balance of the C3 WRC felt really strong, and that gave me confidence and allowed me to play with it a bit on the tricky conditions.

“However, I think that if, as predicted, the rally turns out to be a bit drier than shakedown, then everyone will be able to trust their cars and the grip levels a bit more, and the times will be closer.”

Corsica’s notoriously twisty roads are set to pose their usual challenge to world rallying’s top crews, after a recce that required both focus and stamina. “I enjoyed the recce, which took place in mixed conditions, with rain on one day,” Kris said. “But the level of concentration required on the roads here is just incredible. It’s always a huge mental challenge in Corsica, not just to drive the car but also to make the pacenotes. To give you an example, for the 55km test that’s scheduled for Sunday morning, we spent an hour and 40 minutes, constantly making notes. They’re always crucial, of course, but in Corsica you really do try to cram in every single detail.”

The event gets under way tomorrow with a pair of stages, each run twice. There’s a trio of tests repeated on Saturday before Sunday’s ‘sting in the tail’, which includes a 55km run in the morning before the event-closing PowerStage.