Belfast Telegraph

Meeke pays price for jump start

By Sammy Hamill

Wales Rally GB could hardly have started worse for Kris Meeke. He "jumped" the start of the very first stage and instantly incurred a 10-second penalty.

It made the difference from again being best-of-the-rest as the Volkswagens of World champion Sebastien Ogier and Jari Matti Latvala continued their dominance which has stretched right through the season.

They finished the first leg of a muddy, slippery rally in first and second, separated by six seconds, with Ford's Mikko Hirvonen third and Meeke's Citroen fourth - just seven seconds behind the Finn.

"I've never jumped a start before but the technology shows I went 0.2 of a second too soon," he said ruefully. "But other than that it was a good day. The stages were very difficult, like driving on polished ice."

Down in 10th place after that first stage, Meeke clawed his way back up the leaderboard and edged past his Citroen team-mate Mads Ostberg into fourth on the last stage of the day.

It was a good day, too, for Alastair Fisher in the Junior WRC division. Aiming to finish runner-up in the series, he was fastest on four of the eight stages in his Citroen to build up a lead of one minute 20 seconds over second placed Finn Henri Haapamaki.

Fisher was in 32nd place overall, close behind the R5 Ford Fiesta of Marty McCormack (27th) and the Mitsubishis of Phillip Morrow (28th) and Josh Moffett (31st) who were first and second in the production category.

Jonny Greer was 41st but new British champion Daniel McKenna retired his similar DGM Citroen on stage five.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph