Wednesday | 17 Sep 2014

Meeke: Australia was my best yet

Citroen’s Kris Meeke rates his performance at Coates Hire Rally Australia as the best of his career to date, even though a time penalty for cutting a corner wrecked his chance of a fourth podium this year.

The Briton drove his DS3 World Rally Car to fourth place in Australia at the weekend, with Saturday’s 1minute penalty the only blemish on an otherwise impressive outing.

“It was a really good weekend - I think my strongest performance to date,” Meeke told “Finland was good, and Germany was very good until we tripped up near the end, but in Australia we were quite close right from the beginning.

“It was unfortunate we got the penalty, but in terms of raw performance this was one of my best. We took three stage wins, had the lead for a day and I was consistently the third fastest driver behind Sebastien [Ogier] and Jari-Matti [Latvala] who are battling for a world championship.”

“Okay, without the penalty it could have, and should have, been a podium. But to be honest, while final results do matter when you’re chasing the championship, at the minute I’m looking only at my performance - and my performance was good enough.”

With just three rallies remaining on his current contract with Citroen Racing, Meeke believes his Australian outing will help convince team boss Yves Matton to keep him on in 2015.

“I hope it’s a step in the right direction,” he said. “Yves was always keen to see how I went when I returned to rallies I had driven before. In Finland we proved something, in Germany we were quite strong and we were here too. I hope that everyone can see it’s moving in a good direction.

“We’re getting closer and closer. Before it was like Sebastien and Jari-Matti were a gear ahead of me - now they’re maybe half a gear. It’s impossible for me to make that difference at the minute, but it may come with experience. Next year, if I’m part of the team, and we can continue to improve the car, there’s no reason to think we can’t challenge them.”

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