Belfast Telegraph

Meeke is content to continue playing the patience game

BY Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke started the second leg of Rally Australia in the early hours of this morning in fourth place. But his position said little about an outstanding performance from the Dungannon driver.

For most of yesterday Meeke led the way in his Abu Dhabi team Citroen, the first time he has truly led a World championship round, and only dropped back when he elected to take a cautious approach to the final two short spectator stages at Coffs Harbour late in the day.

But even though he was overtaken by the Volkswagen trio of World champion Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen, just four second covered the top four places.

"You can't win a rally on a spectator stage but if you make a mistake you can easily lose it so I was very careful," he said. "But overall it was a good day. We really had to push to get into the lead and we'll need to keep the same level of consistency for the rest of the rally.

"The aim is not to win at all costs. We're up against guys who are fighting for the World championship and I have to just keep running my own race."

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen was in fifth place ahead of the Hyundai of Hayden Paddon with Meeke's Citroen team-mate seventh.

Meanwhile, Daniel McKenna's hopes of becoming the third Irish driver to win the British rally championship hung by a thread last night after he crashed during the first leg of the Rally Isle of Man.

Battling for the lead with his big title rival Osian Pryce, McKenna rolled his Citroen DS3 on the ninth stage yesterday. The accident allowed Pryce to close within two points of McKenna at the top of the standings but the Manx event, the final round of the series, has been divided into two parts, each offering separate points.

The DGM team from Carryduff worked frantically to repair the Pirelli Citroen and the Monaghan driver returned to action last night for the start of the final leg in a bid to salvage his championship dream.

The rally finishes in Douglas this afternoon.

Belfast Telegraph


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