Deserved podium finish for Kris Meeke in Australia

Deserved podium finish for Kris Meeke in Australia

13.09.2015: COATES HIRE RALLY AUSTRALIA (10-13/9/2015) – FINISH – Leaders for almost half of Rally Australia, Kris Meeke and Paul

COATES HIRE RALLY AUSTRALIA (10-13/9/2015) – FINISH




– Leaders for almost half of Rally Australia, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle finished third overall in their DS 3 WRC.


– Last-minute replacements for Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson, who had been forced to withdraw after an accident in recce, Stéphane Lefebvre and Stéphane Prévot made it to the end and scored a point for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.


– The next round sees the World Rally Championship return to Corsica on 1-4 October
!


Second overall this morning, just 0.3 seconds behind Sébastien Ogier, Kris Meeke was involved in a four-way battle at the front. With five stages to go, there were only 9.1 seconds between the top four.


The running order was changed for the short final leg. Kris Meeke continued to set a strong pace from the opening kilometres. Although he was unable to hold off Jari-Matti Latvala, the Northern Irishman defended his third place to finish ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen. After just missing out on a podium at Rally Australia in 2014, Kris Meeke made sure of a top-three result this year.


Second on the road today, Stéphane Lefebvre acquired more experience in his first competitive outing on gravel in the DS 3 WRC. Having taken advantage of the first loop to check his pace notes, he was quicker on the second pass and managed to finish thirteenth overall, claiming one manufacturers’ championship point in the process.


The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team now heads back to Europe for the eleventh round of the season. In France, the DS 3 WRCs are set to contest the Tour de Corse for the first time. The last four occasions the rally featured in the WRC, between 2005 and 2008, it was won by Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena in the Citroën Xsara WRC and Citroën C4 WRC.



QUOTE, UNQUOTE


Kris Meeke:
“We achieved the first target which was to make it to the finish and be consistent. I would point out that we led the rally for almost two days. I think we did a very good job and we couldn’t really have expected to do much more on the final leg. We have to keep working hard.”


Stéphane Lefebvre
: “I hadn’t expected to be competing here. We came to Australia only to take part in recce and we ended up lining up at the start. Nothing was easy, but we had to adapt quickly. I have gained a lot of experience here. My aim had been to gradually reduce the gap to the leading guys, but we have to do more work on our pace notes in order to improve.”


Marek Nawarecki (Deputy Team Principal): “
We knew that Kris could be very competitive in Australia. He got the best out of the car, the conditions and his strategy. He was able to grab the lead in the early stages of the rally and defended his podium spot right to the end.


Obviously, we’re sorry that Mads was injured during recce. We hope he will recover quickly, in time to take part in pre-event testing for the Tour de Corse. He was replaced here by Stéphane Lefebvre, for whom everything was new. He drove a DS 3 WRC on gravel for the first time.


 Given the conditions, his performance were significant. He gained experience and scored an important point for the manufacturers’ championship.”



HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED



SS13 – Bucca Long 1 (21.95km) – Stage win for Sébastien Ogier who extended his overall lead. Second quickest, Jari-Matti Latvala moved ahead of Kris Meeke, who set the fourth fastest time. Second on the road, Stéphane Lefebvre grabbed 13th place overall.


SS14 – Wedding Bells 1 (9.23km) – Sébastien Ogier went fastest again, ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. Kris Meeke set the fifth fastest time and found himself under pressure from the Norwegian. Stéphane Lefebvre set the tenth fastest time.


SS15 – Settles Rd (6.40km) – Ahead of the midday service, Sébastien Ogier stretched his overall lead to 7.3 seconds. In the fight for third, Kris Meeke defended his position but his advantage was cut to 4.2 seconds. Stéphane Lefebvre set the tenth fastest time again.


SS16 – Bucca Long 2 (21.95km) – While Sébastien Ogier continued to extend his lead, Andreas Mikkelsen was given a penalty for arriving late at the time control. Kris Meeke took advantage to increase his lead a little and was therefore able to adopt a more conservative approach in the final test.


SS17 – Wedding Bells 2 (Power Stage) (9.23km) – Sébastien Ogier won the Power Stage, ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. At the finish, Ogier won the rally, ahead of Latvala and Kris Meeke. Sébastien Ogier’s win means he can no longer be caught in the Drivers’ World Championship standings. Stéphane Lefebvre ended the rally in thirteenth position.




FINAL PROVISIONAL OVERALL STANDINGS


1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:59:16.4
2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +12.3
3. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +32.6
4. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +38.5
5. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +55.0
6. Ott Tänak / Raigo Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:38.0
7. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:08.3
8. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:15.2
9. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:33.7
10. Nasser Al-Attiyah / Mathieu Baumer (Ford Fiesta RRC) +11:46.5…
13. Stéphane Lefebvre / Stéphane Prévot (DS 3 WRC) +16:10.4


FASTEST TIMES


Sébastien Ogier, 8 – Jari-Matti Latvala and Dani Sordo, 3 – Hayden Paddon, 2 – Kris Meeke, 1.



LEADERS


SS1 to SS3: Dani Sordo
SS4 to SS7: Kris Meeke
SS8: Jari-Matti Latvala
SS9 to SS11: Kris Meeke
SS12 to SS17 (finish): Sébastien Ogier


DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP


1. Sébastien Ogier 235 points
2. Jari-Matti Latvala 134 pts
3. Andreas Mikkelsen 111 pts
4. Mads Østberg 90 pts
5. Thierry Neuville 86 pts
6. Kris Meeke 71 pts
7. Elfyn Evans 63 pts
8. Ott Tänak 62 pts
12. Khalid Al-Qassimi 9 pts
28. Stéphane Lefebvre 1 pt


MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP


1.    Volkswagen Motorsport 343 pts
2.    Hyundai Shell WRT 177 pts
3.    Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 164 pts
4.    M-Sport WRT 148 pts…



Marie-Pierre Rossi, Adrien da Cunha Belvès- photos Citroen @world

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/australia-rally-kris-meeke-podium-citroen---140958.html

13.09.2015 / MaP

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