Belfast Telegraph

Meeke knows it’s time he started to deliver

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke may be under pressure but you wouldn’t know it.

Despite crashing out of Rally France just over a fortnight ago, he’s fired up and ready to go again in Spain tomorrow.

“I was pretty down on myself after the French accident — it was totally my fault — but I’ve had a couple of good test days in the car this week and I’ve got my mojo back,” he enthuses.

His premature exit from the French round of the World championship was Dungannon’s former IRC champion’s fourth non-finish in a row.

At the same time Meeke’s Spanish team-mate Dani Sordo has recorded two podium finishes and, indeed, led in France before losing out by a handful of seconds to Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier.

By comparison, Meeke has had a troubled start to his Mini career and goes into the Rally of Spain under pressure to get his WRC Countryman over the finish line.

Ever critical of himself, he took the blame immediately in France, explaining that he had up-rated his pacenotes after the morning run over the same stages in an effort to find more speed but had overstepped the mark.

The Mini statisticians revealed afterwards that Meeke was just two-10ths of a second per kilometre slower than Sordo until his accident but he wasn’t satisfied.

“I am probably my own worst enemy at times,” he admits. “I want to be competing with these guys and I find it hard to just settle back and learn even though I know I have to do that sometimes.”

Spain will be another learning experience for the Ulsterman although he is delighted with the change of format which mixes gravel and tarmac stages.

Belfast Telegraph


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