A day in the life
WRC driver, Citroen
Any day you win a WRC rally is one to remember, but for Kris Meeke the fnal day of the 2017 Rally Mexico will be impossible to forget.
Whenever I’m competing in a rally I always wake up an hour or more earlier than I need to. My co-driver Paul knocks on the door and comes in (fully clothed, I might add), and we go through the recce videos for that day.
We head to the service park where we have our meetings with the engineers. We talk about weather forcasts, tyre choices and set-ups for the day.
We make our tyre selection running down to the frst stage. There has been a little bit of rain this morning and on the frst stage we manage to increase our gap, which in the end proves to be quite important. It wasn’t my intention to increase the lead but we have a good rhythm and the car feels great. We’re quickest by six seconds from Ogier so increase our lead to 37 seconds – a nice cushion.
The fnal power stage. I make a well-documented excursion into a car park with less than a kilometre to go, but manage to recover and cross the line before my 37-second gap evaporates. We win the rally. Just.
Podium ceremony at the fnish line for the live TV and a few interviews. It’s all a bit surreal. I still have a front left puncture, but we have enough time to change that after our media duties. We still have to do 60km back to the service park – that’s a part of the rally. We change the tyre using the spares in the back.
On the drive back to the service park we both have a nervous giggle. Paul actually turns to me, puts his fnger in my face and says: “I hope one night next week you wake up sweating.”
Get back to the team, and they’re all delighted, of course. I’m not sure whether the team boss wants to hit me or hug me, but that’s rallying – everyone’s been of at one time or another.
Ofcial podium ceremony, followed by the press conference – so you go through all the emotions of that again. Everyone is just standing around open-mouthed. It wasn’t as big a drama for me as everyone else, because apart from when I went through the hedge, I was in control.
Get back to the hotel, shut the door and then it’s like… oof, you’ve got a moment to think. It’s only now I see the onboard footage and the pics of the car we touched on the way into the feld, and realise how lucky we were.
Go for a big team dinner… and have one or two Coronas, I won’t lie. Strip away the drama on the last stage, and we more or less dominated the rally, which was huge for the whole team. We had some celebrations that night, for sure.