Germany driver report: Part two
The second part of our look back at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The Ulsterman began the event strongly and for the opening five stages he was closest to the pace of the leading trio of Volkswagens. But his impressive run ended on stage six when his DS 3 hit a patch of gravel and slid off into a field, damaging a compression strut.
It was the second mistake in as many rallies for Meeke, whose recent performances are being assessed by Citroën Racing boss Yves Matton before the team's 2016 line-up is decided. Meeke went on to set several top three times and ended the rally with a flourish, setting second-quickest time on the Power Stage, but he accepted he needed to do more to secure his future with the team.
"Two points is a little positive in a disappointing weekend," he told wrc.com. "Okay, there were many positives. Our pace has been good throughout but in one slippery corner the gravel caught me. I have to continue to work hard. I have to move forward to eliminate these small mistakes."
Meeke denied that he needed to make any fundamental change to his approach. "At World Championship level there is very little margin between driving for tenth or third place. Normally if you are in the battle for the lead it generates more focus. I'm driving at a speed that is comfortable, but I just happened to get caught out here and in Finland.
"I have paid heavily for the little mistakes I have made on the last two rallies. On both occasions it could so easily have been a case of putting the car in gear and going again, but no. That doesn't take away from the fact that I've had those little mistakes. I just have to eliminate them and everything will be good. A podium could have been a possibility in Finland and here," he said.
With Australia potentially his last chance to impress Matton before decisions are made, Meeke said a trouble-free event was his priority. "All I can do is continue to drive my best. We'll decide our strategy out in Australia when we get a sense of the rhythm and the feeling on the stages."