Kris Meeke tipped for 2015 Rally Finland win
|By David Evans||Thursday, August 14th 2014, 10:29 GMT|
Kris Meeke has every chance of becoming the first Briton to win Rally Finland in 2015, reckon leading World Rally Championship figures.
Meeke finished a breakthrough third in Jyvaskyla earlier this month, becoming the first of his countrymen to take a podium on the Finnish event since Richard Burns in 2003.
Winner Jari-Matti Latvala believes it was Meeke's best WRC performance yet, and proves he will be threat for victory on the famous rally next season.
"Kris showed good speed, he improved a lot from last year and I think it's possible for him to fight to win here next year," said Latvala.
"Already when I saw Kris's stage times on the first couple, I was like: 'Wow! He is driving fast.'
"Last year we saw that he was also driving fast, but this year he was very, very consistent.
"This is the best drive he has ever done. He was fast and consistent all the way through the event."
Citroen deputy team boss Marek Nawarecki agreed that Finland was Meeke's career-best, and reckons that form can continue to the next round in Germany.
"All the time, he was very close to the leaders," said Nawarecki. This is the best speed Kris has shown on a WRC event.
"I believe Kris will continue this way and good rallies are ahead for him. For example, next time we will go to Germany where Kris really likes the event.
"If we combine the experience the team has on this rally with the speed from the DS3 and from Kris, we have a lot of chances coming there."
M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson, one of Meeke's former employers, said the Northern Irishman's strengths were now showing.
"I'm really genuinely very pleased for him. To do the times in the first place and then to hang it altogether for a day and a half after that was very impressive. He's there on merit and he's let his speed do the talking," said Wilson.
"We all know how bloody committed and dedicated he is, but modern technology with onboards is helping
"But it's also about having the ability to use that technology to your advantage. Kris is a bright boy and I'm sure that has also played a part in it."