Meeke off the knife edge

Kris Meeke believes two uncomfortable years at Citroën helped him quickly gain confidence in Toyota’s Yaris World Rally Car at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

The Briton made his Toyota Gazoo Racing debut at last week’s season opener and described the weekend as 'fantastic'.

Despite losing time changing wheels early in the event, he finished sixth in his first WRC start for more than eight months.

He was fastest at shakedown, second quickest on four stages and claimed a maximum five bonus points on the final Wolf Power Stage.

Meeke claimed part of the reason for his confidence in the Yaris was a difficult period driving Citroën’s C3 - which culminated in his sacking from the squad midway through last season.

“I’ve settled in quicker than I thought I would with the car and I think that comes down to my struggles in the last two years,” he said.

“Okay, there have been rallies I enjoyed, where I showed good speed, but everything felt on a knife edge. This week, as we saw at shakedown, I was able immediately to get back in. I hadn’t been in that environment for nine months, so it was nice to know we still have a bit of speed.”

Meeke was full of praise for the Yaris, saying it reminded him of Citroën’s previous challenger with which he won three WRC rallies.

“For me the ingredients of this car are correct. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve had in a rally car - similar to the one I had in the DS 3 in 2016,” he explained.

“The exciting thing is I feel confident in the car right from the start and in these tricky conditions, so hopefully it will be better in the future.

"I'm happy. The [rally] result is not there but I come away knowing the speed is."

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