Belfast Telegraph

Meeke is hoping to avoid trouble and taste more Argentina glory

 

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke

By Sammy Hamill

"It looks like we're pretty good at shakedowns and power stages... just need to figure out the bit in between and we will be sorted!"

Kris Meeke may have tweeted this comment in jest, but it is a fairly accurate summary of his World Rally Championship season so far.

He has shown he has the pace to challenge right at the front in each of the four rounds so far but the old failings of misjudgments - or bad luck - have dogged him since he switched from Citroen to Toyota.

The Andorra-based Dungannon driver has been consistently among the fastest in pre-rally shakedown sessions and has taken maximum bonus points from the power stages in Monte Carlo and Corsica, contributing significantly to Toyota's defence of the Manufacturers' Championship.

He still sits fifth in the WRC standings heading into the South American double-header - Argentina this weekend and Chile 12 days later - but it could have been so much better without the broken wheel rims and punctures which dogged him in Monte Carlo, Mexico and Corsica.

No wonder Meeke is intent on keeping all four wheels intact in Argentina, where he recorded his first WRC victory in 2015.

"I'm hoping to have a clean rally. Mexico and Corsica could have been a lot better for me, so I'm definitely looking to have a strong result this weekend," he said.

"Argentina is a rally I really enjoy and, of course, it has special memories for me, bringing me my first WRC win.

"I had three days of testing on gravel in Portugal last week and I think we're in good shape for Argentina, and Chile too.

"Now we just need to keep it clean and stay out of trouble."

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville leads the Championship after his last-gasp Corsican win, the Belgian two points ahead of Citroen's world champion Sebastien Ogier with Meeke's Toyota team-mate Ott Tanak third. Ford's Elfyn Evans is fourth with Meeke one point behind.

Meanwhile, Marty McCormack and Desi Henry have withdrawn from Saturday's Pirelli International, the third round of the British Rally Championship.

And with Josh Moffett and Jonny Greer opting to concentrate on the Irish Tarmac series, it means none of Ireland's leading drivers will be taking part.

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