Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Kris Meeke in line for Citroen reprieve

Second chance: Kris Meeke may get Citroen seat next year

Thierry Neuville's decision to join the new Hyundai team is the key piece in the 2014 World rally championship jigsaw.

The 25-year-old Belgian was wanted by both his present team, M-Sport Ford, and Citroen, as well as Hyundai but elected to sign a three-year deal with the Korean manufacturer who will introduce their new i20 WRC car next season.

With world champions Volkswagen already having Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen under contract, it leaves Ford and Citroen to shuffle the remaining pieces and could mean a reprieve for Kris Meeke.

He was thought to have blown his chances of a full-time place at Citroen after crashing out of the Finnish and Australian rounds earlier this season when he was given a stand-in role.

The former Intercontinental champion, from Dungannon, won't comment but is believed to be still on the Citroen shortlist along with former F1 driver and new WRC2 champion Robert Kubica, Spaniard Dani Sordo and Norwegian Mads Ostberg.

Kubica was chosen ahead of Meeke for next week's Wales Rally GB, final round of this year's championship.

Citroen's current No.1 Mikko Hirvonen is expected to be dropped after Rally GB but is widely tipped to re-join Ford who are also keen to sign Kubica.

Despite his accidents during his appearances in Finland and Australia, Meeke is still highly regarded at Citroen where he is their leading test driver. They know he has the speed to compete at the highest level and admire his "go for it" attitude.

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