Meeke clinches victory in Brazil

Kris Meeke got his Intercontinental Rally Challenge title defence back on course with a comfortable victory in the Rally of Curitiba

Meeke clinches victory in Brazil

The Peugeot UK driver had crashed out of the season opener in Monte Carlo, but he swiftly put that behind him by dominating the opening day in Brazil. Having established a half-minute cushion, he then cruised through the second half of the event to ensure he repeated his 2009 win.

"It's been absolutely fabulous, a near perfect result," said Meeke, whose fifth series win is a record in the fledgling IRC.

"We had a strategy before the rally to put our knowledge to good use in the beginning and we were able to take a bit of a lead. I'm starting to get a bit more experience of how to control a lead on the final day.

"I was so hungry after Monte Carlo to get to Brazil. I know what it takes to win and I want to keep it that way."

Guy Wilks ran second throughout, showing much better pace for Skoda UK than he had in Monte Carlo.

"We had some good pace here," Wilks acknowledged. "Kris's experience paid off on the first day. We're pleased with second. After he had 30s [lead] overnight, we tried on the first stage [today] to see what we could do, and we realised it wasn't really on. We need to work on the car a bit more, get the set-up more to my liking."

A puncture on the very first stage denied Skoda's Juho Hanninen any chance of trying to challenge Meeke. He recovered from sixth to third, helped by his team-mate Jan Kopecky also picking up a puncture today, and therefore maintains a narrow points lead.

"We had some troubles yesterday. We were pushing today, but we couldn't fight for higher places," rued Hanninen, who won every stage on day two.

The final day of the rally was truncated from eight to five stages as the after-effects of a heavy overnight storm prevented several stages - including the planned rally-ending superspecial - from being run.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Kris Meeke Peugeot 1h42m45.4s 2. Guy Wilks Skoda + 46.7s 3. Juho Hanninen Skoda + 1m20.2s 4. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 1m49.3s 5. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot + 4m05.5s 6. Eduardo Scheer Mitsubishi + 14m00.4s 7. Daniel Oliveira Peugeot + 14m41.8s 8. Rafael Tulio VW + 18m21.2s 9. Juan San Martin Subaru + 23m42.6s 10. Roberto Theodoro Peugeot + 24m01.9s 
Meeke closes on Curitiba victory
Previous article

Meeke closes on Curitiba victory

Next article

Al Attiyah believes IRC title possible

Al Attiyah believes IRC title possible
Load comments
Ireland deserves a WRC round Plus

Ireland deserves a WRC round

Drivers are in accordance: Ireland should be in the World Rally Championship. DAVID EVANS followed the Circuit of Ireland and was left with no doubt that the drivers are right

Apr 23, 2014
Kubica's rally to recovery Plus

Kubica's rally to recovery

Robert Kubica's rally speed is obviously there - in abundance - but he's got to stop crashing. Charles Bradley went to the Azores to get the lowdown on the ex-F1 star's comeback trail

May 3, 2013
Why Kubica can win on ERC debut Plus

Why Kubica can win on ERC debut

Former GP winner Robert Kubica makes his international comeback this week in the Canaries Rally. And David Evans reckons he'll win aboard a Citroen DS3 RRC

Mar 21, 2013
Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old Plus

Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old

As the IRC to ERC transformation takes effect in Austria, David Evans is excited that the IRC's promotional strengths will carry over - but still wishes the WRC could get some of that magic

Jan 3, 2013
Farewell IRC, long live ERC Plus

Farewell IRC, long live ERC

As the Intercontinental Rally Challenge prepares for its swansong in Cyprus, David Evans recalls the shortlived series' heyday - and looks ahead to its European successor

Nov 1, 2012
The 2011 IRC season review Plus

The 2011 IRC season review

The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season

Nov 22, 2011
Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally Plus

Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally

This year is the Monte Carlo Rally's centenary and, just as in recent years, there's no shortage of World Rally Championship stars turning up to give the IRC regulars a run for their money

Jan 18, 2011
The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010 Plus

The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010

The competition didn't run as deep as it might have, but there was plenty of fight at the front with six of our top 10 winning rallies during the season. Matt Beer puts them in order

Nov 29, 2010