Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Intercontinental Rally Challenge: Kris Meeke aiming to go out on high note

Kris Meeke

Kris Meeke has a raft of reasons why he wants to win the Rally of Scotland.

There is the fact it will surely be his final appearance in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge series which has proved such an important stepping stone on the road to redemption for the 31-year-old Ulsterman.

It will also be the last time he drives for Peugeot UK and the Belgian Kronos Racing team who have provided the platform for him to become 2009 IRC champion.

And he regards Scotland as his second home having lived there under the wing of his mentor, the late former World champion Colin McRae.

But most of all he wants to win this weekend because he feels he has “unfinished business” having won the Scottish IRC round last year only to have the victory taken away two days later because one part of his Peugeot 207’s suspension was underweight.

It was an error by the Peugeot team for which they later apologised to Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle.

Some will see the Scottish fiasco as the start of a downward spiral which has resulted in Meeke winning just one round in 2010 and losing his IRC crown to Skoda’s Juho Hanninen.

“It's fair to say things haven't gone as smoothly for me this season as they did last year so to end the year and my Peugeot career on a high with a win in Scotland would be very special,” said Meeke, who has been confirmed by Mini as one of its WRC drivers for 2011.

“And having had my victory taken away last year I'd love to get my own back with no questions asked this time.”

Once again he will take on Juho Hanninen, the Finn who has become his nemesis this season.

The Scottish event starts from Perth tomorrow night, with Keith Cronin rejoining the Proton team where he will line up alongside Scot Alister McRae.

Jonny Greer, the Group N winner last year, former Irish Tarmac champion Eamonn Boland, and Daniel Barry are also in the starting list in their Mitsubishis as well as Citroen champion Marty McCormack who switches to a Subaru for his second IRC appearance.

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