Belfast Telegraph

Kris Meeke eager to Mex the most of big opportunity

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke knows he is stating the obvious when he says: "Mistakes are costing me."

He knows, too, he has to eliminate the errors which have seen him finish 10th and seventh on the first two rounds of this year's World championship when his speed indicated he should have been on the podium in both rallies.

Which is why, ahead of Rally Mexico this weekend, he says he wants "a strong performance with no mistakes." He believes if he can stay error-free "the result will take care of itself."

He means he could, possibly, challenge for a first WRC victory given that this is the first round of the series in which the new running order rules kick in effectively.

They dictate that the running order for the first two days is determined by the current World championship standings, a ruling vehemently opposed by World champion Sebastien Ogier who, as leader again, knows he is landed with the job of road sweeper on the dusty Mexican stages.

The passage of each car clears more surface dust, leaving better traction for the later cars - and Meeke's Team Abu Dhabi Citroen starts an advantageous ninth on the road.

"I have a good road position and I must make the most of it," says the Ulsterman who crashed out on his first visit to Mexico a year ago.

"But this is a difficult rally, different to any other in that it's held at altitude and the thin air affects the performance of the cars.

"Nowhere else do you get this combination of gravel, altitude and high temperatures. The car reacts differently in these sorts of conditions. You have to be more aggressive in the slower sections in order to carry as much speed as possible through the corners.

"But you have to avoid making any mistakes at all, because with the lack of oxygen, you've got less engine power and the car is less responsive than usual.

"I was disappointed by my results in the first two rallies, despite winning stages in Monte Carlo and in Sweden. I have to eliminate the mistakes to score points and turn my speed into results."

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