Thursday | 12 Nov 2015

Question Time: Kris Meeke

Citroën works team driver Kris Meeke took the hot seat in Wales last night to answer questions suggested by WRC Facebook users.

Thanks for all the questions and congratulations if yours was one of the five we chose. Here's what the Northern Irishman had to say.

From Ross Thompson: Do you live in a motorhome on rallies or do you stay in lots of different hotels?
KM: "We do hotels. Lots of them. In Corsica we were in five different ones in seven nights. Here in GB we've been in a different hotel each night until now [Wednesday]. Each morning when you wake up you have to take a second to have a look around and figure out where you are in the world." 

From Pierre Hilaire: "Of the cars you have driven which was the best? And which best suited your driving style?
KM: "The DS 3 is a fantastic car, but as a driver who wants to win you always want more. When I get a car that is able to fight at the front that'll be my favourite! I've never driven the Fiesta, the Polo or the Hyundai so at the moment the DS 3 is my best to date. Going further back, the Metro 6R4 was something really special and I have a big desire to do a forest rally in one. The same goes for the Mark II Escort. The idea of driving a proper historic rally car on gravel is very appealing. Hayden Paddon's trying to get me to drive something in the Otago Rally in New Zealand. I'll have to add that to the bucket list."

From Roger Budun: Do you find your experience in design engineering useful in rally?
KM: "Not really. I qualified as a mechanical engineer and started work as a CAD designer at M-Sport doing parts for the 2002 and 2003 Ford Focus. I loved it. It was my career before I started driving and everything turned around. Now I don't need those skills for what I do. Sébastien Loeb was a nine time champion without a degree in mechanical engineering. However it does help me enjoy certain aspects of the job that are perhaps laborious for other people. I like testing and development, I like to discuss with the engineers and get into detail. If my background helps me enjoy that then great - it's useful." 

From Brian Ewing: After chatting to you at Monte Carlo (we drove from NI) you really started to go fast! Does the Irish support help on the stages?
KM: "We've got Irish corner on this rally and the support there is incredible. When you're driving in front of people from home you certainly feel the atmosphere in the car. There's an electricity. You can see the people and at times you can hear the air horns go off. Speak to any sportsman who competes in front of their home crowd and they'll tell you it adds to the atmosphere. Okay, in a rally it might not give you any seconds per kilometre but that atmosphere in the car is a special feeling and it's certainly better to drive with it than without it."

From Priit Arge: How did you start rallying, did you have to go to work and collect some money to buy your first rally car?
KM: "My golden rule of trying to be successful in rallying is never to own your own rally car because you'll be afraid to crash it. I have never owned my own rally car. Noever. I entered a competition in Motorsport News and won a drive at the Bulldog Rally on these Wales Rally GB stages. I took it step-by-step from there, working at M-Sport and getting in contact with Colin McRae led to the British Championship, the Junior WRC. Everything snowballed from there."

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