Belfast Telegraph

Kris Meeke has big call to make on his rally future

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke is unsure of his rally future following the decision of Citroen to withdraw from next year's World championship.

The French team have announced they will not take part in the 2016 series but have confirmed their commitment to the WRC by taking a year out to concentrate on the development of a new car to comply with revised regulations for 2017. They will also quit the World Touring Car Championship at the end of next season.

Meeke, who guided Citroen to second in the manufacturers' championship with his second place behind World champion Sebastien Ogier on Wales Rally GB at the weekend, says he has "decisions to make" over the next few weeks but refuses to speculate on whether he will be part of the series next year.

"I only learned for sure of Citroen's decision after Rally GB on Sunday night and I have had no serious discussions with them about what might happen next," said the Dungannon driver who scored Citroen's only 2016 victory in Argentina in a season dominated by Volkswagen. "Of course, I want to stay in the World championship next year but right now I can't say whether I will be or not. I have decisions to make and we'll just have to wait and see."

Opting out for a year is a move Citroen have made in the past, taking a "sabbatical" in 2006 to develop the then new C4 although Sebastien Loeb still won the World title with the works-assisted satellite team Kronos Racing in an older generation Xsara.

They are insisting there are no such plans for 2016 although a spokeswoman for the eight-times World champions admitted: "Doing some rallies next season is something we are thinking about but nothing has been decided."

She added that Mads Ostberg would be leaving the team but said: "We are in discussions with Kris at the moment."

Belfast Telegraph


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