Belfast Telegraph

Meeke flies but errors cost him dear in Corsica

 

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke flew home from Corsica still simmering at a golden opportunity missed. He knew he had the car and the speed to win the Tour de Corse only for two small but costly mistakes left him reflecting on what might have been.

Another decisive Power Stage win brought him five bonus points but only served to increase his frustrations as a Corsican win eluded him for a second time in three years.

And the Dungannon driver, who eventually finished ninth, could only feel sympathy for Elfyn Evans who had victory snatched away from him in the dying moments of the rally when his M-Sport Ford Fiesta suffered a puncture on the final stage.

The former Ulster Rally winner had to settle for third as Thierry Neuville snatched the win for Hyundai ahead of the Citroen of world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Meeke held his hands up to the early errors which destroyed his hopes, a puncture on the first stage when he cut a corner too tight and then a slide into a kerb breaking a suspension arm of his Toyota Yaris later in the day taking him out of the fight for a victory.

"Our hopes of even a podium finish ended on Friday afternoon - so from that point on, our focus was on getting to the end, scoring some manufacturers' points and getting as many as possible from the Power Stage," said Meeke.

"On that basis, it was mission accomplished. However, the overall feeling is one of frustration because we know the Yaris WRC is a car good enough to be winning rallies like this and we didn't capitalise."

A puncture also robbed team-mate Ott Tanak of a second win of the season, the Estonian falling back to finish sixth.

Meanwhile, it was doubles all round at the opening 500 Club race meeting at Kirkistown with Alan Davidson, Ivor Greenwood and Ciaran Denvir all picking up two wins apiece.

Davidson won both rounds of the Dawson-WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford championship in his Mondiale, beating the Van Diemen of David McCullough on both occasions. Greenwood won both roadsports races and Denvir had a double in the Irish Touring Championship rounds in his Honda Civic.

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