Kris Meeke, backed by Red Bull, is enjoying his first full season in the World Rally Championship at the wheel of the brand new MINI John Cooper Works WRC.
So far, it’s been a dream debut, with the car showing itself capable of setting top-three stage times. The highlight of the opening day in Germany for MINI was SS4, Ruwertal Fell, where Meeke and his team mate Dani Sordo were third and fourth fastest respectively.
It’s the first time that Meeke has competed in Germany since 2008, where he showed plenty of speed in an ageing Renault Clio, but the Irishman still managed to bring his car home in an impressive fifth place at the end of the opening day, just behind his team mate. This is what he thought:
'I’m feeling a lot of confidence with the MINI'
“It’s been a great first day! Germany’s not the easiest place in the world to get to grips with, particularly if you haven’t competed there for a while, but I’m feeling a lot of confidence with the MINI.
"That’s almost surprising when you consider how new it still is. We’re doing a limited programme of events this year and really everything is just a big test for us, so to have reached the point where we are at already is very encouraging.
'The most important thing is that the fundamentals of this car are right'
"Of course, when you’ve got a new car there are always lots of little things that you have to try and sort out: this afternoon I had a spin because the engine cut out for some reason, but that’s exactly why we’re doing these test events. We learn as we go along. The most important thing is that the fundamentals of this car are right.
"It’s got a really good chassis, which is particularly well-suited to asphalt. In fact, I haven’t really changed the set-up of it since our pre-event test. But the really hard day on this event is going to be tomorrow, with the Panzerplatte stages that are run on concrete roads through old military areas. They really eat up tyres, and the good thing with our car is that it’s really easy on the tyres. Fifth is a good place to be on our first asphalt rally; if we can stay here I think we’d all be really pleased…”
- Kris Meeke's profile page
- WRC Rally Germany event page
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