Cutting corner costs
Meeke fourth place

Kris Meeke has been relegated from fourth to fifth place at Coates Hire Rally Australia after event stewards handed him a 1min 1sec penalty for cutting a corner on Saturday’s Stage 10.

The Briton was locked in a tense battle for third with Andreas Mikkelsen when the incident occurred, within sight of the finish line of the Valla stage.

Live television cameras captured Meeke’s Citroen DS3 as it left the road before a left-hand corner and drove over a grass area before rejoining.

Meeke admitted his driving 'was not in the spirit of the rules'

Meeke told stewards that while he had always intended to cut the corner, he had approached it too quickly and ended up taking a bigger cut than he had planned.

He said he had realised the inside area of the corner was clear of people and he had not gained any time advantage. He apologised for the lapse, and added that he was aware that his driving was not in the spirit of the rules.

The stewards decided to penalise Meeke by dropping him one place in the classification. He will start Sunday’s final leg 0.6sec behind the Ford Fiesta RS of Mikko Hirvonen.

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