Citroen axes Kris Meeke due to 'excessively high number of crashes'

Citroen has dropped Kris Meeke from its World Rally Championship line-up for the rest of 2018 due to "an excessively high number of crashes"

Citroen axes Kris Meeke due to 'excessively high number of crashes'

Meeke was airlifted to hospital for checks after a particularly violent accident on the most recent WRC round in Portugal last weekend.

He had been signed to spearhead Citroen's factory WRC return in 2017 but ended up only seventh in the championship and was briefly sidelined from the team in the early summer following a poor start to the year.

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar said Meeke's accidents meant he had decided to change the line-up on "safety" grounds.

"This wasn't an easy decision to make because it effects a driver and a co-driver, but it is largely founded on safety issues which come under my preoccupations as team principal," said Budar.

"We have consequently chosen to make this decision as a preventive measure."

The Citroen statement announcing Meeke's departure underlined that he was being dropped "due to an excessively high number of crashes, some of which were particularly heavy and could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew's safety" and added that the risks Meeke took "were unjustified by the sporting stakes at play".

Citroen has yet to announce its revised driver plan for the rest of the season.

It will field Craig Breen and Mads Ostberg, who had already been brought in for a partial programme, on the next round in Sardinia.

Nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb also has one more appearance scheduled in his three-event comeback programme with Citroen, which will take place in Spain at the end of the season.

shares
comments
The Ogier penalty row that could decide the 2018 WRC title battle
Previous article

The Ogier penalty row that could decide the 2018 WRC title battle

Next article

Citroen WRC team explains decision to axe 'not under control' Meeke

Citroen WRC team explains decision to axe 'not under control' Meeke
Load comments
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Plus

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022
How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight after the Loeb vs Ogier show Plus

How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight after the Loeb vs Ogier show

After a blockbuster opening act to the new era of the World Rally Championship with the battle of the Sebastiens at Monte Carlo, Rally Sweden would be the first chance to assess the next superstar of rallying. While teething issues with the new hybrid power thwarted some of the cast, Kalle Rovanpera’s display gave him headline billing

WRC
Feb 28, 2022
The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation Plus

The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation

As the company selected to provide the hybrid kits for the 2022 World Rally Championship, the pressure was on Compact Dynamics at the Monte Carlo season opener. Needing to treat all three manufacturers equally, it wasn't a straightforward process, but its first big test was a resounding success that bodes well for the future

WRC
Feb 25, 2022
The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption Plus

The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption

He appeared poised to become the World Rally Championship’s new bright young star five years ago, but Esapekka Lappi's fortunes since his 2017 breakthrough win offer a cautionary tale of how the tables can turn. Now having rebuilt his career, the Finn is determined to make the most of his second shot at the big time with Toyota

WRC
Feb 23, 2022