Meeke oh so close to double
Having won the Night Sprint on Saturday evening, Kris Meeke couldn’t quite make it a double triumph at the Bettega Memorial Rallysprint in Italy.
In the season finale in Bologna yesterday he was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Bettega Memorial Trophy itself by former World champion Petter Solberg who went on to win the final for a second year in a row. Meeke eventually finished third.
Staged every year as part of the Bologna Motor Show in the heart of the city, it commemorates Lancia driver Attilio Bettega who died in an accident on the Tour de Corse in 1985.
Past winners have included Sebastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen and Meeke’s former mentor Colin McRae.
The Night Sprint was dominated by Meeke, the Ulsterman emerging from the qualifying heats in his John Cooper Mini as the fastest driver.
Meeke was drawn against Ford’s Rally GB winner Jari-Matti Latvala in the semi-finals but beat the Finn 2-0 in the best of three sprints around the parallel courses laid out in the huge Bologna square.
In the final Solberg, in his WRC Citroen DS3, couldn’t match Meeke, the Mini driver winning 2-0.