Tuesday | 17 Nov 2015

Meeke motivated by McRae spirit

Kris Meeke felt the legacy of former mentor Colin McRae inspired him to become the first Briton to claim a podium at Wales Rally GB for 14 years.

McRae played a big role in guiding Meeke through the early stages of his career and last weekend’s final round of the WRC season marked the 20th anniversary of him winning the world championship at his home event (below).

“It’s 20 years on, but out in those forests you can still feel the memory of Colin. All those spectators cheering you on have still got their Scottish flags and their McRae flags. At Rally GB you can always feel the spirit of Colin and what he achieved. Hats off to them,” said Meeke.

Second place for the Ulsterman in the storm-lashed Welsh forests helped Citroën secure the runners-up slot in the manufacturers’ championship. It was the first British podium at the GB round since Richard Burns finished third in 2001 to lift the world title.

Meeke rated it as a better drive than the one that netted him his maiden victory in Argentina in April.

“This was my strongest performance to date, even considering Argentina, because there Ogier retired in the first stage and Mikkelsen and Latvala had problems. Here I was right on the pace and halfway through the second day we were only 12sec off the lead,” he said.

Meeke’s future at Citroën remains uncertain but if he stays with the French squad for 2016 his target is clear.

“Volkswagen has won 34 rallies out of 39 starts and it’s not rocket science to know they are completely dominant at the moment. Rather than focusing on second place, we need to focus on first and try to challenge them,” he added.

More News