Belfast Telegraph

Meeke donates to fundraising drive

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke has joined the drive to raise money for rally co-driver Chris Wood, who was severely injured in an accident as he prepared for a charity bike ride.

Wood was a former professional co-driver who navigated for many of the top names in British rallying, including record Circuit of Ireland winner Jimmy McRae, David Higgins, 2001 World champion Richard Burns and Martin Rowe, with whom he competed on the Ulster Rally.

He was training to take part in a charity bike ride at Christmas 2012 when he fell and damaged vertebrae in his spinal cord. He is now a tetraplegic, with little or no movement below the neck.

Dungannon driver Meeke has become patron of the HelpWoody campaign, which is aiming to raise between £25,000 and £30,000 to buy essential equipment to improve Chris's life quality.

More than £13,000 has been raised in just eight days and now Meeke has offered the driving gauntlets he used on Rally Sweden – the ones he used to dig himself out of a snowbank – to be auctioned on the HelpWoody web page.

The Swedish incident cost Meeke seven World championship points and dropped him to sixth in the standings, which are now headed by VW's Jari-Matti Latvala. Meeke's team-mate Mads Ostberg, who took his first podium for Citroen, is now third, 10 points behind the Finn.

Meeke's accident was also costly in terms of the manufacturers' championship. Had he maintained his sixth place, Citroen would have been just nine points behind VW instead of the current 16.

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