KRIS MEEKE FINISHES ON A HIGH
Second on the Wales Rally GB Power Stage, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle once again illustrated the progress made by the Citroën C3 WRC on gravel. The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT crew finished seventh overall.
- The third and final leg of Wales Rally GB was something of a sprint finish, featuring five stages over a competitive distance of just 42km. The route included two runs on Alwen (SS17/SS20) and Brenig (SS18/SS21), split by a single pass on Gwydir (SS19).
- Starting the day in seventh place, around twenty seconds behind the car in front, Kris Meeke went into the final leg with measured ambitions. Above all, the aim was to make to it to the end and confirm a solid race among the leaders.
- Similarly, Craig Breen had nothing to gain on this final leg, as he had been out of the points since having to retire on Friday evening.
- Kris Meeke nonetheless produced some impressive performances in the second half of the morning. Third fastest on Gwydir, and then fifth on Alwen 2, he completed the rally with the second fastest time on the Power Stage. The no.9 C3 WRC therefore held onto seventh place overall at the end of the rally.
- Craig Breen and Scott Martin also had a positive morning, with one fifth place and two sixth fastest times. The Irishman and his English co-driver gained another two positions during the course of the leg to end the rally fifteenth overall.
- Continuing at their measured pace, Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson also made it to the seaside town of Llandudno for the final podium of the event.
Kris Meeke: "Normally, I wouldn't be happy with seventh place. But to be honest, Elfyn Evans was in a different class this weekend, he produced an exceptional performance throughout the rally. The battle was mainly for second place and for a long time, we were only thirty seconds or so back, among a group of drivers that were quite tightly bunched together. I dropped back slightly when I made a little mistake yesterday, but I'm still pleased with my rally. I felt good all weekend – it's been a while since I felt that comfortable on this type of surface, throughout an entire rally."
Craig Breen: "Our race was more or less done after our little mistake on Friday, but we ended the weekend on a positive note. I think we had good speed again today and we're obviously heading in the right direction. It gives me confidence going into the final rally of the season in Australia, but also for next year."
Khalid Al Qassimi: "It was a very difficult weekend, during which I totally rediscovered this type of surface. Listening to the comments of the other drivers, it does seem that this year's rally was especially slippery! I was also first on the road for two legs and that only made my task even more difficult. I would like to thank the team and the engineers, who worked hard this weekend. I think that the data gathered this weekend will help us to improve again in the future."
1. Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:57:00.6
2. Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +37.3
3. Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45.2
4. Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) +49.8
5. Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +50.3
6. Tänak / Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:02.3
7. Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) +1:20.5
8. Paddon / Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:16.3
9. Lappi / Ferm (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:46.5
10. Sordo / Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:50.5
… 15. Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) +12:58.7
… 22. Al Qassimi / Patterson (Citroën C3 WRC) +18:08.2
DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Sébastien Ogier - 215 points
2. Thierry Neuville - 185 points
3. Ott Tänak - 167 points
4. Jari-Matti Latvala - 136 points
5. Elfyn Evans - 118 points
6. Dani Sordo - 95 points
7. Juho Hänninen - 71 points
8. KRIS MEEKE - 70 points
9. CRAIG BREEN - 64 points
10. Hayden Paddon - 59 points
11. Andreas Mikkelsen - 52 points
12. Esapekka Lappi - 51 points
13. STEPHANE LEFEBVRE - 30 points
14. Teemu Suninen - 29 points
15. Mads Østberg - 29 points
MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. M-Sport WRT - 398 points
2. Hyundai Motorsport - 305 points
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT - 244 points
4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT - 214 points