Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Renault call-up Kris for Rally Catalunya

Kris Meeke is to be a late edition to the line-up for the Spanish round of the World Rally Championship - and probably the French round in Corsica, too.

He has been called in by Renault Sport to drive an R3 Clio run by the French Chazel-Technologie team on Rally Catalunya starting on Thursday week.

And Meeke may go to the Tour de Corse a fortnight later as Renault continue to evaluate and develop the new two-litre Clio for rallying.

"It has all been pretty last minute but I understand I'm taking over the Interspeed team entry of Serbian Milos Komljenovic in Spain, and possibly Corsica too," said the former Junior World championship ace.

The car is being supplied by Renault Sport but run by satellite team Chazel who also look after the R3 Clio of Luxembourg’s Gilles Schammel. Chris Patterson will co-drive in place of Paul Nagle who is unavailable.

Meeke contested Rally Russia in an R3 Clio for Renault Sport earlier in the summer but it succumbed to the horrendously rough stages and he retired on the second day when a rock punched a hole in the sump.

"They are keen to continue the development work on the R3 Clio but this time on asphalt which should suit it much better," said Meeke.”

Meeke drove a Super 1600 Clio for the Italian Munaretto team on Rally Deutschland where he was beating all the current Junior World championship contenders until an electrical fault stopped the car for six minutes.

It later prompted Junior World champion-elect Sebastien Ogier to say he would like another match-up with Meeke in Corsica once, he hopes, he has secured the JWRC title in Spain next week.

And while it looks as though Meeke may be there they won't be in equal cars.

"I would love to have another race with Sebastien but Renault are only interested in developing the new two-litre R3 Clio, not the Super 1600 car, so it isn't going to happen."

But things are happening for Meeke at the moment. Today he was scheduled to test Irish tarmac suspension for the Swedish Ohlins company and tomorrow he will be in Italy for meetings with Fiat and Kronos.

He's back in England on Friday for a sponsorship meeting with Red Bull and then its on to Scotland for the McRae Stages Rally at the weekend before heading to Spain and Rally Catalunya.

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