Tue 25 Apr 2023

Meeke to enter WRC2 in Portugal

Kris Meeke is set to make his FIA World Rally Championship return at next month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

Meeke, a five-time WRC rally winner, has agreed to drive an i20 N Rally2 for Team Hyundai Portugal in the Portuguese Rally Championship this year. He fills in for the late Craig Breen, who had been set to contest the full season alongside his WRC commitments.

Part of the Meeke’s campaign includes Portugal’s WRC round, which takes place from 11 - 14 May. The Irishman has not competed in the WRC since 2019 but will score WRC2 points at the four-day fixture.

“When the invitation came up, I was a bit sceptical, everything felt too soon after the passing of a close friend. My decision was not taken lightly," Meeke revealed.

"Firstly, I accepted because it’s my desire to compete in rally, but I also thought about what Craig would tell me, and I know he would tell me to accept. That's how I'm going to honour him. I will continue to compete as he always did, to win and to enjoy it."

The 43-year-old has not previously competed in Hyundai machinery, although he was responsible for some of the testing and development work behind Škoda’s Fabia RS Rally2 car.  

“I’m happy to carry Craig’s memory forward with this programme. It takes on board WRC Portugal which, of course, I’m happy to do,” Meeke continued.

“I have very fond memories there, from winning the event in 2016 and being on the podium there also. Going back in a Rally2 car will be different, but any time I get behind the wheel I try to enjoy it.”

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