Wed 04 Jan 2023

Meeke Škoda outings still a possibility

Škoda Motorsport team manager Pavel Hortek has confirmed the Czech manufacturer hasn’t given up on finding a way to get Kris Meeke back into the FIA World Rally Championship this season.

Five-time WRC rally winner Meeke has worked extensively on the testing and development of Škoda’s Fabia RS Rally2 in the last season – with speculation of a return for the Northern Irishman heightened when he drove the test car at last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo test.

Hortek confirmed Meeke wouldn’t be in the car in Monte or for round two in Sweden, but admitted there were hopes for an outing later in the year.

The complication for Škoda is that it no longer runs a factory team, with all competition activities going through the German-based Toksport.

“We make the cars,” said Hortek, “but Toksport is running the program and the cars on-event. We do not interfere with this. 

“As our development driver, Kris is on the test for the first day to work on the set-up of the car. We know people thought they saw Kris coming and they thought he would be doing the rally. Sadly not. 

“We would like to have Kris driving and I’m sure Kris would like to drive, but that’s not for us to decide. It’s something we will keep thinking about.”

Meeke, 43, has recent competitive experience with a Fabia, having finished third on last year’s Qatar International Rally. He hasn’t competed in the WRC since the end of 2019. 

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM