I'll never live down spectacular crash, says Meeke
Citroen are facing an extra bill in the wake of Kris Meeke's dramatic Rally Mexico victory. And it is one they will happily pay.
They will have to cough up for the damage to a spectator's Volkswagen which saved Meeke from calamity in the closing moments of Rally Mexico. As millions watched on live TV, the Dungannon ace saw a certain fourth World Championship win disappearing when a sudden, sharp pump threw his C3 off line less than a kilometre from the finish of the final Power Stage.
The Citroen plunged down a steep bank towards a spectator car park and was on the point of flipping onto its roof when it glanced off the boot of the Volkswagen, the impact knocking it back onto four wheels.
The Ulsterman steered past other spectator cars, skirted the hospitality tents and found another gap to rejoin the rally.
The incident wiped out most of what had seemed an unassailable lead and Meeke must have imagined he had blown it as he wrestled the Citroen to the finish line with a front wheel puncture.
But no. With fellow drivers watching in astonishment, Meeke brought the C3 home with 13 seconds to spare.
"I think I might end up telling this story hundreds of times, but I was a lucky, lucky boy. I'm annoyed with myself for making that mistake," he said.
But did he make a mistake? His performance had been flawless and then without warning the car was flying off the road. It went into a sudden compression in the road, the C3 bottoming out then kicking up sharply as the suspension re-bounded.
Ford's Ott Tanak could be seen demonstrating. He knows how close they sail to the wind and why the Citroen had snapped out of Meeke's control. But it all ended happily, Meeke securing the first victory for the all-new C3.