Belfast Telegraph

Watch: 'Like being in a washing machine' - rally driver Kris Meeke flips car eight times

Huge scare for Meeke and Nagle after heavy accident in Argentina

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle were lucky to walk away unscathed after not one but two heavy crashes during Rally Argentina.

Winners of the South American World championship round two years ago, they twice had to hang on as their Citroen flipped and rolled spectacularly in the Cordoba mountains, leaving the two of them shaken but largely unhurt.

The first accident on Friday happened as Meeke challenged for the lead, the car inexplicably flying off the road after hitting what the Dungannon driver described as a "nothing bump" in the gravel road. The same depression also claimed the second Citroen of Craig Breen.

The Citroen engineers rebuilt Meeke's car in under three hours to allow him to restart on Saturday and he set fastest times on two of the first three stages, a reward he said for their efforts.

But on the fourth stage of the day they suffered an even bigger accident, the C3 being virtually destroyed as it rolled and bounced multiple times down the gravel road.

"I lost control of the car on a fast corner and it oversteered and spun. We hit a bank which threw it into a series of rolls," he explained calmly. "We are fine but the car's not too good."

In a dramatic finish, Belgian's Thierry Neuville snatched victory for Hyundai on the final Power Stage, denying Ford's Elfyn Evans a first WRC victory.

There was a dramatic end, too, to the Rally of the Lakes in Killarney with long-time leader Roy White crashing out on the third last stage, handing victory to Sam Moffett, who takes over the lead in the Irish Tarmac championship from Alastair Fisher.

Moffett had started the second day in third place, 26 seconds behind White's WRC Fiesta. He passed the Hyundai of Robert Barrable for second and steadily closed the gap to the leader but was still 20 seconds adrift when White crashed out.

Another Skoda driver, Marty McCormack, was top Ulster finisher on the Pirelli International, second round of the British championship. McCormack made it on to the podium behind Sweden's Fredrik Ahlin and Welshman Osian Pryce.

Keith Cronin, Desi Henry and Jonny Greer were all victims of the Kielder forest stages but William Creighton snatched a last-gasp win from fellow Ulster driver Callum Devine in the British Junior category.

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