Monday | 23 May 2016

Matton’s praise for mature Meeke

Citroën Racing boss Yves Matton believes Kris Meeke showed how much he has matured as a driver in the way he delivered his second WRC victory at Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Sunday.

Matton was impressed with the way the Northern Irishman built a lead of almost a minute in the first half of the four-day rally before measuring his pace on Saturday afternoon and Sunday to win by 29.7sec in his DS 3. 

“We’ve been working with Kris for a long time and know his strong points and his weak points. We’ve known for years that he’s a really fast driver with a great technical return who is able to set up a car to the best potential,” Matton told

“The thing was to get him to accept that sometimes due to different circumstances you’re not able to go as fast as you can and you have to accept it.

“He showed this weekend he was able to build the race during the first half of the rally by pushing hard, but also accept that in some parts the car wasn’t at its best. In the second half of the rally he was able to go a step down and manage the result.”

Meeke’s part-time 2016 WRC programme ensured a low position in the running order for the opening two legs, and he took full advantage of cleaner and grippier roads swept by those ahead to provide a victory Matton had not expected. 

“We knew something was possible because the DS 3 has always done well in Portugal but when you’re only doing part of the championship and missed the two last events, you’re not really in the same rhythm as the others.

“Last week’s rain meant a potential win from our good start position was less than expected but everything worked perfectly and Kris achieved this great result,” he said.

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