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Meeke in Catalunya Rally fightback after muddy roll


Fighting back: Kris Meeke

Fighting back: Kris Meeke

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Fighting back: Kris Meeke

After the worst possible start to Rally Catalunya, Kris Meeke came fighting back and last night was up to seventh place on the Spanish round of the World series.

The Dungannon driver rolled his Citroen on the opening stage of the day, dropping over 40 seconds to the leading Volkswagen of Sebastien Ogier. He had feared it would be the dust kicked up by the cars ahead which might be his biggest problem on the gravel stages but instead it was mud.

Heavy rain saturated the forest roads, leaving deep water-filled ruts, one of which caught out Meeke. "It was fourth gear corner and the car dug into the mud and slowly toppled over," he explained. "There was more damage to my confidence than to the car and it took a while to find my rhythm again."

But as rain cleared, Meeke picked up the pace and climbed back to seventh, one place ahead of team-mate Craig Breen, ending the day with the fastest time on the final stage. He was over a minute behind new leader, Hyundai's Dani Sordo, who was 17 seconds ahead of Ogier.

Belfast Telegraph