Belfast Telegraph

Kris Meeke seeded third for Citroen bow

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke will make his debut as Citroen's team leader at No.3 in the seeded entry list for the Monte Carlo Rally, the first round of the 2014 World championship.

The Ulster driver will start the classic event behind new World champion Sebastien Ogier and the Frenchman's Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala. Norwegian Mads Ostberg in the second Citroen DS3 starts at No.4.

Mikko Hirvonen, who was displaced at Citroen by Meeke, now leads the M-Sport Ford team at No.5 with his young Welsh team-mate Elfyn Evans making his debut at six.

Belgian Thierry Neuville and another of the ousted Citroen drivers, Dani Sordo, are seven and eight for the new Hyundai team with the third VW Polo of Andreas Mikkelsen and former Canadian Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica, now driving for Ford, completing the top 10.

Bryan Bouffier and Francois Delecour, both former Monte winners, are also in the line-up in WRC Ford Fiestas as is Sebastien Chardonnet, who edged out Ireland's Keith Cronin to win the 2013 Citroen Top Driver award.

The only other Irish driver in the 100-strong entry list is 2008 Irish Tarmac champion Eamonn Boland in a production Subaru.

The rally kicks off the 2014 season on January 16.

Meanwhile, the Rally Isle of Man returns to the British championship next year and will count as a double-header.

Points will be allocated for the Thursday night/Friday leg of the September 11/13 event with the Friday night/Saturday section counting for a second opportunity to put points on the board.

Belfast Telegraph

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