Tuesday | 29 Dec 2015

Meeke: 2016 could be the ideal scenario

Kris Meeke believes his part programme in next year's WRC could be the perfect strategy to ensure he and Citroën Racing are well prepared for a full throttle comeback in 2017.

The Northern Irishman will contest an unspecified number of European rounds in 2016, driving a DS 3 World Rally Car for the Citroën-backed Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team.

At the same time he will work with Citroën Racing to develop an all-new car that will be introduced in 2017.

But with next year's expanded WRC calendar, Meeke, who recently secured a three-year deal with Citroën, acknowledged that a full season would have put huge pressure on the 2017 car project.

"With next year's calendar now including the extra event in China, certainly between August and November there's hardly time to breathe -  even if you're just competing. And that's going to be the most critical time in the development phase of the new cars because everyone will be getting them ready," he said.

"As much as I can't let experience go, and want to do as many events as possible, doing a partial programme in 2016 could be the ideal scenario. It will give us time to breathe and focus all our efforts on building the new car for 2017 while still using the events in 2016 to keep sharp and build experience."

Meeke's 2016 season will kick off with Rallye Monte-Carlo (18 - 24 January) which he and team-mate Stéphane Lefebvre will tackle for the new Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team.

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