Citroën drops Kris Meeke for Rally Poland, Mikkelsen as a replacement
Following disappointing ending of Rally Italia Sardegna, where he crashed out from the lead, Kris Meeke will take a break from the World Rally Championship by skipping the next round in Poland. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT announced a revised line-up for Rally Poland (June 29 – July 2) with Andreas Mikkelsen as the third driver, along with regulars Stephane Lefebvre and Craig Breen.
Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal, explained the situation: “Before the start, we asked our drivers to make it to the end of the rally. I don’t think we were wrong to think that if they managed to do that, we would end up with two cars in the top five. Unfortunately, Kris was unable to adopt the pace required to have an error-free race. After the opening stages, he felt comfortable in the car and said that his pace was consistent with the targets set. Clearly, he has failed to maintain it.
After a series of disappointing results, we have asked Kris Meeke to take a step back for this next rally. 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. At the same time, this change in line-up means we can keep working with Andreas. 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.”
In seven rounds of the 2017 championship season, Kris ‘Crash’ Meeke had accidents at Rallye Monte-Carlo, Rally Sweden, Rally Argentina, Rally Portugal and finally at Rally Italia Sardegna. The engine of his Citroen C3 WRC blew up at Tour de Corse and the only positive result was his victory at Rally Mexico.
Photos: Citroen Racing,