Meeke halted on tragic Con­droz Rally

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Kris Meeke’s re­turn to com­pet­i­tive ral­ly­ing ended pre­ma­turely when the en­gine on his Skoda Fabia R5 failed at last week­end’s Con­droz Rally.

The North­ern Ir­ish­man re­tired from third place af­ter the car, run by Ital­ian team Me­tior, hit prob­lems on the fifth stage.

The event was won by Meeke’s for­mer Citroen team-mate Stephane Le­feb­vre. The 26-yearold Bel­gian moved into the lead on SS2 and kept the C3 R5 out front to give it its high­est pro­file win yet.

Like many, Meeke’s thoughts were else­where fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing the Skoda of Steve Mat­terne and co-driver Rik Van­lessen.

Van­lessen died in the ac­ci­dent, but it re­mains un­clear whether he was killed in the im­pact or suf­fered a heart at­tack. Mat­terne was hos­pi­talised with non-lifethreat­en­ing in­juries.

Meeke’s Face­book page read: “We all love mo­tor­sport and ral­ly­ing be­cause of how ex­cit­ing it is – for the driv­ers and nav­i­ga­tors in the cars, for the team mem­bers who work so hard to keep the cars go­ing, and for the fans who watch the ac­tion. But it’s dan­ger­ous and some­times it re­minds us of that.

“To­day, sadly, was one of those oc­ca­sions. I want to send my con­do­lences to Rik Van­lessen’s fam­ily and friends.”

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