Thursday | 02 Jul 2015

Meeke rolls at Poland shakedown

Sébastien Ogier was fastest in shakedown at 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland on Thursday morning but Kris Meeke’s participation in the event hangs in the balance after a huge roll.

Meeke, 36 today, got the session off to a decent start, posting the sixth fastest time through the 3.70km gravel stage, close to the rally base in Mikolajki. However, the Ulsterman’s morning came to an unhappy end when he rolled Citroën’s DS 3 heavily near the start of his fifth run.

“We'll find out how the car is when we get it back, but it's never pretty when it rolls six or seven times. The FIA will take a look, but if the roll cage is bent we’re going nowhere,” said Meeke.

“I was just 100 metres into the stage on a flat-left, fourth gear corner. I was on the line and the car launched into the air and rolled. I had been completely flat through that corner every time before. The ruts were getting deeper but it caught me by surprise and the car went over and landed on the bonnet,” he added.

Meeke faces an anxious wait

Ogier posted quickest time in his Polo R on the last of three runs. He was 0.5sec faster than a trio of cars tied in second.

“It was a really fast road, maybe only five braking points in the whole stage,” said Ogier. “It was fairly representative of the rally and good to get an accurate feeling for the speed we’ll see over the next three days.”

Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen and local hero Robert Kubica driving a Ford Fiesta RS, all recorded the same time on their fourth pass through the test to head Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 by 0.4sec.

The leading times were:

PositionDriverCarBest time
1Sébastien OgierVolkswagen Polo R1min 39.1sec
=2Robert KubicaFord Fiesta RS 1min 39.6sec
=2Jari-Matti LatvalaVolkswagen Polo R1min 39.6sec
=2Andreas MikkelsenVolkswagen Polo R 1min 39.6sec
5Thierry NeuvilleHyundai i201min 40.0sec
6Kris MeekeCitroën DS 31min 40.2sec
7Dani Sordo Hyundai i20 1min 40.3sec
8Mads Østberg Citroën DS 31min 40.6sec
9Elfyn EvansFord Fiesta RS1min 41.0sec
10Ott TänakFord Fiesta RS1min 41.1sec
11Hayden PaddonHyundai i201min 41.6sec
12Martin ProkopFord Fiesta RS1min 42.2sec
13Kevin AbbringHyundai i201min 43.0sec
14Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta RS1min 44.8sec

Car photo credit: Dominic Smith

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