RUES HIS ‘STUPID MISTAKE’ IN SPAIN
Kris Meeke says that he must rule out the mistakes he made on last week’s Rally of Spain if he’s to pose a threat to Sebastien Ogier next season.
Meeke ultimately retired from the Salou-based event with an engine fault on the final morning, but admitted he was frustrated with elements of his own performance.
“I’ve got to stop those kind of stupid mistakes I was making,” he said. “I know what I have to do for next year and it’s so important that we’re not doing some of the things we did in Spain. If you look at the result, maybe it’s not so bad. We were fifth here last year and really struggled, this time we were fifth but we’d rolled, had a puncture and a big spin – so maybe it’s not all bad.”
Much of Meeke’s frustration came on the opening day’s gravel stages, where he had hoped to come to terms with roads that he’s never felt completely comfortable on.
“That’s what I wanted from Friday,” he said. “I wanted to come away from there feeling I’d gotten on top of those stages and I felt confident with them. Then we rolled on the first stage!
“That was a stupid thing though, we only dropped 15 seconds with the roll and we were genuinely pretty unlucky, it just caught the bank and tipped us over. Onto the wheels and away we went. By the end of the day, I was quickest in Terra Alta, and I was happy with that. That was progress. But Saturday there were just a few wee annoying things. They have to stop though.”
Meeke did at least end the second day on a high with fastest time on the Salou stage.
Meeke’s Citroen team-mate Craig Breen also endured an action-packed event. The Irishman’s DS 3 WRC suffered a broken front driveshaft on the first Saturday stage, leaving him with rear-wheel drive only for three stages. With that problem fixed, Breen set times consistently in the top six.
“I’m pleased with how the event’s gone from a driving perspective,” he said. “We’ve shown good speed on the stages where we’ve been able to. It’s a shame about Saturday morning – the car was a bit of a handful with rear-wheel drive only.”
Meeke and Breen will be joined by Stephane Lefebvre for the DS 3 WRC’S final outing in Abu Dhabi Total colours at next week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.