Kris Meeke admits he was surprised to claim a podium at Rally Argentina in an event where simply finishing was all-important.
The Northern Irishman was under pressure after crashing in Mexico and Portugal, but bounced back to guide his Citroen DS3 to third on his first Argentine appearance in the WRC.
“To be honest I didn’t expect that,” said Meeke. “I’ve done the rally before in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge but the stages were completely different. Basically this was new to me and I just made the pace notes as the conditions were.
“When we landed third after everybody retired on Friday I was in a completely different rally. Then I was just in survival mode to protect my position after the disappointments at Mexico and Portugal. I had to finish and I’m really, really happy to come out with third place,” he added.
Friday’s high attrition rate meant Meeke went into the final two days with an advantage of more than four minutes over Andreas Mikkelsen. Although the Norwegian reduced that deficit to 23.6sec by the finish, Meeke’s second podium of the season was never under real threat.
“I was prepared to use every second I had to get the third place. I didn’t necessarily have to win it by a minute. I only had to do it by one second,” he explained.
“After five events in the championship I have two podiums in my first full season which is quite nice. It’s a learning experience for me this year and I have to continue to learn,” Meeke added.