Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Meeke in frame for leading Subaru role

Kris Meeke could be on the verge of joining Subaru as their test and development driver.

Richard Taylor, managing director of Subaru World Rally Team, has confirmed Meeke has been shortlisted for the job of developing the new Impreza S14 which should appear next year.

"Kris is one of the people we are speaking to," said Taylor. " We need somebody with a good mixture of World championship experience and good pace. Not a lot of people fit that bill but Kris is one of them."

Meeke, who will drive a Subaru S12 on Rally Ireland next month, admits he has spoken to Subaru and has visited their headquarters at Banbury recently, but will say nothing more for the moment.

The role of test driver with Subaru could be an important step. He would be tasked with developing the all-new car over the next nine months in conjunction with former World champion Petter Solberg and the Subaru engineers.

And he is ideally suited. A mechanical engineering graduate from Queen's University, Meeke initially worked for the Ford World championship team at M-Sport in Cumbria before branching out as a driver.

During his time at Citroen he played a major part in developing their C2 JWRC car and is still called on by Citroen and their satellite teams in various parts of Europe to coach their drivers and help set up their C2s.

He also played a part in developing the C4 as currently driven by World champion Sebastien Loeb and is highly regarded by the Citroen engineers.

Just the sort of driver, in fact, to help Subaru regain their former supreme place in World championship rallying.

A decision is expected later this month.

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