Kris Meeke, is in his first season of the World Rally Championship with MINI – which returned to the sport this year.
The Northern Irishman was chosen to follow in the footsteps of Paddy Hopkirk following his victory on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2009, driving for Peugeot UK. Currently competing in the Rally of Spain, he tells us about the best day and worst day of his career.
“That’s definitely got to be the last day of the 2009 Sanremo Rally in Italy, where I won the rally and the IRC championship at the same time. I’d not done Sanremo for several years, so I really didn’t expect to compete because it was so specialised and there were loads of very quick local guys who had been driving those stages for years. But actually it all went well for us: when we woke up on the final day we were fourth overall. I’ll never forget what happened next. On the first stage we suddenly went fastest by a huge margin – I think 14 seconds – and from there we just kept on pounding in all the stage times until we won the rally and clinched the championship. There are days when everything just seems to go your way, and that was one of them.”
“Any day in which you have an accident is never a good day at the office, but the worst day that I can remember was actually the last day of the rally before this one: in France. Maybe I’ve had worse days in the past but this one hurts the most because it’s the most recent in the memory. We went off because we were pushing a bit too hard and if you look at the way that things worked out at the end of the rally we perhaps could have been third, so it’s really frustrating. It was a stupid accident that was simply caused by inexperience. We were too fast and slid wide when a good result was in the bag and we didn’t really need to push. These things happen though, so we want to make sure that we have a clean run to the finish this time.”
Watch Kris’s accident in France:
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