Kris Meeke tops Rally Finland shakedown on Citroen WRC return

Kris Meeke set the fastest time at the Rally Finland shakedown as he returned to the World Rally Championship

Kris Meeke tops Rally Finland shakedown on Citroen WRC return

Having been stood down for the last WRC round in Poland by Citroen, Meeke arrived in Finland - where he won last year - frustrated and lacking confidence.

But he put that aside to outpace Hyundai's Thierry Neuville by 0.1 seconds on the three-mile Ruuhimaki shakedown stage.

"Our test was so wet, it was good to get to drive the car in those [dry] conditions," said Meeke.

"I was able to take some confidence. We had some parts on the car this morning that I had never driven with before, so on the first run I had to understand [them].

"Today was like a proper test, we were changing a lot on every run.

"We have a good car: you can't win in Mexico and lead in Corsica without a good car, but the car's been inconsistent and I have as well.

"But now we're starting to see some consistency and we're starting to make some changes that I've been talking about for a long, long time."

Meeke admitted his first shakedown win of the season helped his confidence, especially as the Ruuhimaki stage is properly representative of the rally.

"We all know that shakedown doesn't count for too much, it counts for nothing when the stages start tomorrow, but it shows I have a good rhythm and Ruuhimaki is very representative of what we've got to come," he said.

"We have the narrow section to start with and then it's wider and more Ouninpohja-like.

"If you can get the car working on this road, that usually translates into the rally.

"I don't have the same confidence I had last year when I finished the test, it's not the same feeling this time. But let's see."

M-Sport driver Ott Tanak was third, a further tenth of a second behind Neuville.

shares
comments
Jari-Matti Latvala backs Rally Finland chicanes to slow 2017 WRCs
Previous article

Jari-Matti Latvala backs Rally Finland chicanes to slow 2017 WRCs

Next article

'Stupid' and 'dangerous' Rally Finland chicanes anger WRC drivers

'Stupid' and 'dangerous' Rally Finland chicanes anger WRC drivers
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Plus

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Plus

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Plus

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Plus

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Plus

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Plus

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Plus

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater

WRC
Jan 1, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022