Citroen drops Kris Meeke for Andreas Mikkelsen for Rally Poland

Kris Meeke has been dropped by Citroen for the next World Rally Championship round in Poland and has been replaced by Andreas Mikkelsen

Citroen drops Kris Meeke for Andreas Mikkelsen for Rally Poland

Meeke has had a troubled start to a year in which he was supposed to lead Citroen's title bid on its factory WRC return.

Though he won in Mexico, his roll while leading in Italy this weekend followed incidents in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Argentina earlier in the year.

Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle have just 27 points - 25 for the Mexico win and two for powerstage points from Sweden - leaving them 10th in the standings, 114 points behind leader Sebastien Ogier and 16 points behind team-mate Craig Breen.

"After a series of disappointing results, we have asked Kris Meeke to take a step back for this next rally," said Citroen team principal Yves Matton.

"Kris accepted that this would be in the best interests of the team and we'd like to thank him for his understanding.

"This break will give him the chance to recharge his batteries and release some of the pressure before preparing for Rally Finland.

"He won in Finland last year after producing a perfect performance, so we hope he'll come back stronger."

Matton also said the reshuffle was a chance for the team to continue working with Mikkelsen.

Mikkelsen was the only one of Volkswagen's 2016 drivers unable to find a '17 WRC seat when VW departed, meaning he began the year with Skoda in WRC2.

He made his debut for Citroen in Italy, replacing Stephane Lefebvre, alongside Meeke and Breen, although a puncture and difficulty in adapting to the C3 left him eighth overall.

"This change in line-up means we can keep working with Andreas," added Matton. "This first experience was more like a test session than a proper competitive outing.

"A second rally will give him the chance to use the things he has already learned to get closer to the leading guys. Moreover, he is particularly fond of Rally Poland since he won the event last year."

Meeke's Citroen relationship began with two mid-season appearances in '13.

Though he failed to finish either of those events, he impressed enough to earn a full-season seat for 2014 and then claimed his first WRC win in Argentina a year later.

Contesting a part-season last year while Citroen regrouped for the new rules, Meeke added further wins in Portugal and Finland and went into 2017 with the expectation of producing his first WRC title bid.

shares
comments
WRC Rally Italy: Ott Tanak wins attritional event in Sardinia

Previous article

WRC Rally Italy: Ott Tanak wins attritional event in Sardinia

Next article

Scapegoating Meeke won't help Citroen's crisis

Scapegoating Meeke won't help Citroen's crisis
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021