Meeke realised he hadn't enjoyed WRC after attending Rally Spain

Toyota's 2019 signing Kris Meeke says returning to the World Rally Championship service park in Spain last weekend made him realise he had not been enjoying the WRC in recent years

Meeke realised he hadn't enjoyed WRC after attending Rally Spain

Meeke had avoided the championship since being dropped by Citroen following Rally Portugal in May.

But he attended last weekend's Catalunya event to meet Toyota team members and finalise plans for testing in Finland this week.

"I haven't watched any coverage for three years, which is probably another signal that I wasn't actually enjoying it very much," said Meeke.

"But then this morning, before I came down here, I was up texting my Michelin engineer to ask what tyres people were on and then I was following the splits to see who was doing what."

Meeke had been with Citroen since 2013, winning five rallies and being chosen to lead the team's full factory return for the WRC's new rules in '17.

But the partnership ended badly when he lost his drive mid-season this year following a string of crashes.

He has already hailed the atmosphere at the Tommi Makinen-run Toyota team as "something completely different to what I've had before in my career".

Meeke lives close to the Rally Spain route and called his appearance with Toyota there "an opportunity to meet the hierarchy and some of the Japanese Toyota Gazoo Racing team members who are only on events.

"It's also nice to meet people rather than just know them over email - it's been a good introduction to the team."

Toyota led in Catalunya with both Ott Tanak - who was pulling away before a puncture that effectively ended his title hopes - and Jari-Matti Latvala, Meeke's 2019 team-mates.

"It's nice to see that," said Meeke. "The Toyota is competitive yet again.

"I just wish I could get behind the wheel, especially after some great memories from last year [Meeke won the 2017 event]."

Meeke drove Toyota's Yaris WRC for the first time earlier this month, and will run again at the team's base in Finland shortly - with conditions likely to be snowy for that session.

shares
comments
Loeb: Rally Spain win makes 2019 WRC programme more tempting

Previous article

Loeb: Rally Spain win makes 2019 WRC programme more tempting

Next article

Citroen could revive third car for 2019 WRC season for Loeb/Breen

Citroen could revive third car for 2019 WRC season for Loeb/Breen
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Kris Meeke
Author Matt Beer
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021