Belfast Telegraph

Meeke's podium charge flattened by puncture with finish in sight

 

Frustrating end: Kris Meeke lost out on a podium place
Frustrating end: Kris Meeke lost out on a podium place

By Sammy Hamill

There was late disappointment for Kris Meeke when he was knocked off the Rally Argentina podium by World champion Sebastien Ogier in a dramatic finish.

The Dungannon driver, who had been the early leader, overcame broken wheel rims, punctures, damaged suspension to his Toyota Yaris and a time penalty to fight his way into third place going into the final Power Stage.

A last morning charge saw Meeke and co-driver Seb Marshall overhaul Ogier's Citroen and take a five-second advantage in the final stage.

But he was hit with yet another puncture just seven kilometres from the end and he lost out to Ogier by 1.4 seconds as Belgium's Thierry Neuville made it two wins in a row ahead of Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen in a Hyundai one-two finish.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fifth for Toyota ahead of the Hyundai of Dani Sordo and the Ford of Teemu Suninen.

Meanwhile, Josh McErlean made it back-to-back Junior Championship wins in the third round of the British series, the Pirelli International, through the Kielder forest complex.

The Kilrea teenager, who won in West Cork, led home fellow Ulster driver William Creighton by 53 seconds, the two of them sweeping up £4,000 in Peugeot prize money. Scot Finlay Retson finished third, edging out the Ford Fiesta of another Ulster driver, Jordan Hone, by seven-10ths of a second.

Overall victory went to Tom Cave in an R5 Hyundai prepared by Philip Case's Donegal engineering team, their second BRC win, with fellow Welshman Rhys Yates second and Scot David Bogie third, both driving Skodas.

Josh Moffett just failed to make it three wins out of three in the Irish National Championship when he was pipped by Donagh Kelly in the Monaghan Rally.

Moffett led initially in his WRC Ford Fiesta but lost almost 30 seconds on the sixth of the nine stages, allowing Kelly to take a lead he never relinguished in his WRC Focus. Roy White was third in his WRC Fiesta.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph