has clinched his first maiden WRC victory at XION Rally Argentina. Meeke is the
first British driver since 2002 to win a world rally. The Citroen Total Abu
Dhabi WRT finished a one-two as Mads Østberg finished second which is a first
1-2 finish for a French manufacturer in almost 3 years. Elfyn Evans completed
the final spot on the podium.
Colin McRae was the last British winner at Kenya’s Safari Rally 13 years ago
and mentored 35-year-old Meeke through the early part of his career. Meeke
dedicated the victory to McRae by saying, “The one guy
who did most for me isn’t here to see this. This is for Colin. He helped my
career out at the very beginning. He supported me financially through to the
world championship. Without his support I wouldn’t be here.”
Meeke led the
four-day gravel rally for all but a handful of kilometres in his Citroen DS 3,
ending a torrid start to the season in which he crashed in the first three
rounds. He ended the first leg with more than a minute’s lead and measured his
pace over incredibly rocky conditions which sidelined many frontrunners to finally
reach the top step of the podium on his 58th start.
fighting with a fever and an early engine problem only for him to secure his
second consecutive runners-up spot. Østberg climbed to second in the
championship standings behind Sébastien Ogier.
survived the final stage of the rally despite suspension problems in his Ford
Fiesta RS to finish 3min 27.4sec behind Meeke, conceding a minute as he nursed
the car through the test. It was a fitting farewell for the current Fiesta RS,
which will be replaced by a new evolution at the next round.
It was a
weekend to forget for Team Volkswagen Motorsports as Ogier finished a lowly 17th
after suffering with his fuel injectors of his Polo R Rally car. Jari-Matti
Latvala retired from third with fuel supply problems Polo R during the first
pass of the test. Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen and fourth-placed Thierry
Neuville both crashed out after hitting the same rock in the repeat run.
FIA WRC DRIVERS
Citroen Total Abu
Ford M-Sport WRT
Hyundai Shell WRT
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