Kris Meeke

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Kris Meeke
2014 10 04 12-00Rallye France, Parc assistance Colmar, Kris Meeke.jpg
Kris Meeke at the 2014 Rally France
Personal information
Nationality Northern Ireland
Born (1979-07-02) 2 July 1979 (age 39)
Dungannon, Northern Ireland
World Rally Championship record
Active years20022008, 2011, 2013–present
Co-driverRepublic of Ireland Paul Nagle
United Kingdom Chris Patterson
United Kingdom Glenn Patterson
United Kingdom David Senior
TeamsMini WRC Team, Citroën Abu Dhabi WRT, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
Rallies91
Championships0
Rally wins5
Podiums12
Stage wins78
Total points413
First rally2002 Rally GB
First win2015 Rally Argentina
Last win2017 Rally de Catalunya
Last rally2018 Rally de Portugal

Kris Meeke (born 2 July 1979) is a Northern Irish professional rally driver, best known for competing in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). He was the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion. His co-driver is Irishman Paul Nagle.[1] He began his career as a Computer Aided Designer with M-Sport, at the headquarters of the Ford World Rally Team, before moving on to competing in the Peugeot Super 106 Cup in 2001.[2]

In 2011, Meeke debuted in the World Rally Championship driving a MINI for Prodrive. His first event was the Rally d'Italia Sardegna which was held between 5–8 May. Meeke scored his first WRC points and won the Power Stage at the 2011 Rally Catalunya. His maiden WRC win was at the 2015 Rally Argentina.

Career[edit]

Meeke, son of rally engineer Sydney Meeke, was born in Dungannon, Northern Ireland and educated at the Royal School Dungannon. He later went on to study at Queen's University, Belfast, where he obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He initially worked for M-Sport as a Computer Aided Designer. He took his first step into rallying in 2000, when he won a Peugeot competition for new rally drivers.[citation needed]

His debut event was the Bulldog Rally held in North Wales, even leading the event for a time. After mixed results, his first victory came on the third round of the 2001 Peugeot Super 106 Cup, the Swansea Bay Festival National Rally. In early 2002, Meeke's career was boosted when he was taken under the wing of the late Colin McRae and contested the British Junior Championship in a Ford Puma. In June, Meeke won in his category in the Scottish Rally after a calculated drive overseen by McRae, and took second on the Jim Clark Rally, his first full tarmac event. Third position in the final round of the series was however enough for Meeke to claim the British Junior Rally Championship title in only his second season in the sport, as well as third in the British S1600 series.[citation needed]

Junior World Rally Championship[edit]

The following year, Meeke moved up to the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), driver an Opel Corsa run by Team Palmer. He made an impressive debut setting the fastest time on two of the final leg stages however a string of minor problems dropped Meeke down the order. He retired in the next rally and a potential second-place finish in Italy was lost after a crash. Shortly afterwards he claimed consolation by winning the British S1600 title. On the final round of the 2003 JWRC held in Britain, Meeke was running in 2nd place in the JWRC and in 17th position overall before being forced to retire after hitting a rock and rolling his car.[citation needed]

Meeke kicked the 2004 season off in style by finishing 3rd in class in the Rally of Monte Carlo. He then took part in the British S1600 event in Wales as a shakedown for the next JWRC in Greece, winning the Welsh event along the way. The next two JWRC events in Greece and Turkey were marred by mechanical problems on the rough gravel terrain. He then took part in the Pirelli Rally in Tampere as shakedown for the next JWRC event in Finland, scoring a class win in Pirelli Rally. He was leading the Finnish JWRC event before a mistake caused him to crash and retire. A spirited drive saw him set seven fastest stage times and finish on the podium in second place.[citation needed]

Intercontinental Rally Challenge[edit]

Meeke in the Peugeot 207.

In 2009, Meeke alongside co-driver Paul Nagle contested the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in a Peugeot UK backed 207 S2000, run by the Belgian Kronos Racing team. He crashed out heavily on the Monte Carlo Rally but went on to win the next three rounds he competed in at Brazil, Portugal, and Belgium.[2] He won the championship at the penultimate round by winning Rally Sanremo in Italy, after his closest rival Jan Kopecky crashed on the second stage.

Meeke finished off the season with a dominant win of the inaugural Rally Scotland, winning 7 of the 13 stages on the way to victory. He starred in a wave of adverts for the Peugeot 207 in 2009, with the tagline "He's Meeke, but he's not mild".[3] For 2010, Meeke continued his successful partnership with Paul Nagle and Peugeot, competing in 10 rounds of the IRC.[4]

Meeke with a Citroën C2 S1600 at the 2005 Acropolis Rally.

World Rally Championship[edit]

Mini (2011)[edit]

On 2 September 2010, Autosport magazine announced that Meeke had signed for the Prodrive team that would run MINI World Rally Championship (WRC) return in 2011.[5] Meeke scored his first WRC points and won the Power Stage at the 2011 Rally Catalunya.[6] Meeke came close to gaining his maiden podium at the final round of the season, the 2011 Rally GB but spun on the Power Stage allowing Henning Solberg to take third place.[citation needed]

Meeke appeared in an edition of the BBC show Top Gear in a challenge similar to that of Henning Solberg driving a rally car against the Norwegian Olympic Bobsleigh team. Meeke rallied a Mini John Cooper Works WRC on a downhill snow track in a race against skeleton competitor Amy Williams at the Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. Williams raced down the bobsleigh track whilst Meeke's route ran downhill alongside. With Top Gear presenter James May as his "co-driver," Meeke set a time of 59.73 in the Mini, beating Williams who finished with a time of 1:01.04.

On 22 December 2011, Meeke was dropped from the Mini WRC Team for the following month's Monte Carlo Rally in a crisis within the Prodrive-run team over budget for the 2012 season.[citation needed]

Citroën (2013–2018)[edit]

Meeke returned to the WRC in the 2013 Rally Finland, driving for the Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team as a stand in for Khalid Al Qassimi.[7]

Meeke was running comfortably in fifth place and set for an impressive points earning finish on his WRC return before rolling in the final section of the penultimate stage of the rally.[8] Meeke would once again drive a Citroën DS3 WRC in September during the 2013 Rally Australia taking the place of works driver Dani Sordo.[9] After completing his first full season in 2014 in the Citroen team, Meeks finished 7th in the standings with 4 podiums to his name. He remained with Citroen for 2015 alongside Mads Ostberg, with Sebastian Loeb also joining him in Monte Carlo. In Monte he finished 10th, winning 3 stages in the rally and the power stage among them. He won his maiden rally in Argentina, ending a 13-year drought of British winners of a WRC event. After winning, dedicated his win to 1995 World Champion Colin McRae, who supported him during his career until McRae's death in a helicopter crash in 2007. At the end of the 2015 season, Meeke finished 5th in the standings, just behind teammate Mads Ostberg, with 112 points to his name. On the 16th of December it was announced that Meeke would have a 3-year contract with Citroen, up until the end of 2018.

It was announced that Meeke would only compete in eight rounds in the 2016 season, in order to focus on development of the Citroën C3 WRC that would be introduced in 2017. Meeke won two rallies in 2016, in Portugal and in Finland, the latter breaking a record for the highest average speed in a WRC rally.[10][11] Meeke had hoped that his 2016 schedule would allow him to challenge for the 2017 title.

The opening two rounds of 2017 proved frustrating for Meeke, crashing out in Monte Carlo and finishing 12th in Rally Sweden. Meeke took a win in Rally Mexico, despite a mistake in the final kilometre. He had gone into the Power Stage with a 37.2 second lead over Sébastien Ogier, but slid off track on a fast right hander, ending up in a car park. The incident cut his lead to 13.8 seconds, Meeke rejoining the stage through a gap in a hedge.[12][13]

Meeke led the next rally, the Tour de Corse, but retired from the lead with an engine problem on the Novella stage.[14] At Rally Argentina, Meeke retired again. He rolled his C3 twice in the course of the rally, one of these times seeing the car rolling 14 times, which he described as "the biggest."[15] He was replaced with Andreas Mikkelsen for Rally Poland, which team principal Yves Matton described as being 'in the best interests of the team."[16] Meeke returned for Rally Finland, but struggled for confidence and eventually finished eighth, whilst teammate Craig Breen challenged for a podium. This was followed up by a crash on the Thursday evening super special stage on Rallye Deutschland, ruining any chance of scoring points. He eventually retired on day 2 with a mechanical issue. However at the next round in Spain, Meeke took the lead from Andreas Mikkelsen on the second day, and steadily pulled away from the rest of the field to take a second victory of the season.

Meeke was retained by Citroën for the 2018 championship and was the only Citroën driver scheduled to contest all thirteen rallies. However, the team released him from his contract after six rounds following a series of crashes. Team principal Pierre Budar was critical of what he called an "excessively high" number of accidents that came about when Meeke took "unjustified risks" considering his position at the time of the accidents.[17]

Rally victories[edit]

WRC victories[edit]

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Argentina 35th Rally Argentina 2015 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Citroën DS3 WRC
2 Portugal 50º Rally de Portugal 2016 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Citroën DS3 WRC
3 Finland 66th Rally Finland 2016 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Citroën DS3 WRC
4 Mexico 31º Rally Guanajuato México 2017 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Citroën C3 WRC
5 Spain 53° RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada 2017 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Citroën C3 WRC

JWRC victories[edit]

No. Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Monaco 73ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 2005 United Kingdom Chris Patterson Citroën C2 S1600
2 Germany 25. Rallye Deutschland 2006 United Kingdom Glenn Patterson Citroën C2 S1600

IRC victories[edit]

No. Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Brazil 29. Rally Internacional de Curitiba 2009 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000
2 Portugal 44. SATA Rallye Açores 2009 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000
3 Belgium 45. Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally 2009 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000
4 Italy 51° Rallye Sanremo 2009 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000
5 Brazil 30. Rally Internacional de Curitiba 2010 Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000

Results[edit]

WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
2002 Kris Meeke Ford Puma S1600 MON SWE FRA ESP CYP ARG GRE KEN FIN GER ITA NZL AUS GBR
Ret
NC 0
2003 Kris Meeke Opel Corsa S1600 MON
29
SWE TUR
Ret
NZL ARG GRE
Ret
CYP GER FIN
Ret
AUS ITA
Ret
FRA ESP
19
GBR
Ret
NC 0
2004 Kris Meeke Opel Corsa S1600 MON
14
SWE MEX NZL CYP GRE
Ret
TUR
Ret
ARG FIN
Ret
GER JPN GBR
20
ITA
16
FRA NC 0
Citroën C2 S1600 ESP
25
AUS
2005 Kris Meeke Citroën C2 S1600 MON
11
SWE MEX NZL ITA
20
CYP TUR GRE
26
ARG FIN
39
GER
14
JPN FRA
25
ESP
28
AUS NC 0
Subaru Impreza WRC GBR
9
2006 Kris Meeke Citroën C2 S1600 MON SWE MEX ESP
19
FRA
Ret
ARG ITA GRE GER
16
FIN
Ret
JPN CYP TUR
20
AUS NZL GBR
Ret
NC 0
2007 Kris Meeke Subaru Impreza WRC MON SWE NOR MEX POR ARG ITA GRE FIN GER NZL ESP FRA JPN IRE
Ret
GBR NC 0
2008 Kris Meeke Renault Clio S1600 MON SWE MEX ARG JOR ITA GRE TUR FIN GER
24
NC 0
Interspeed Racing Team Renault Clio R3 NZL ESP
Ret
FRA JPN GBR
2011 Mini WRC Team Mini John Cooper Works WRC SWE
MEX
POR
JOR
ITA
Ret
ARG GRE FIN
Ret
GER
Ret
AUS FRA
Ret
ESP
5
GBR
4
11th 25
2013 Abu Dhabi Citroën Total WRT Citroën DS3 WRC MON SWE MEX POR ARG GRE ITA FIN
Ret
GER AUS
Ret
FRA ESP GBR NC 0
2014 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën DS3 WRC MON
3
SWE
10
MEX
Ret
POR
Ret
ARG
3
ITA
18
POL
7
FIN
3
GER
Ret
AUS
4
FRA
3
ESP
19
GBR
6
7th 92
2015 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën DS3 WRC MON
10
SWE
7
MEX
16
ARG
1
POR
4
ITA
24
POL
7
FIN
17
GER
12
AUS
3
FRA
4
ESP
5
GBR
2
5th 112
2016 Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroën DS3 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
23
MEX ARG POR
1
ITA POL FIN
1
GER CHN
C
FRA
16
ESP
Ret
GBR
5
AUS 9th 64
2017 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën C3 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
12
MEX
1
FRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
POR
18
ITA
Ret
POL FIN
8
GER
Ret
ESP
1
GBR
7
AUS
7
7th 77
2018 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën C3 WRC MON
4
SWE
Ret
MEX
3
FRA
9
ARG
7
POR
Ret
ITA
WD
FIN GER TUR GBR ESP AUS 14th 43

* Season still in progress.

JWRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pos. Points
2003 Kris Meeke Opel Corsa S1600 MON
12
TUR
Ret
GRE
Ret
FIN
Ret
ITA
Ret
ESP
2
GBR
Ret
14th 8
2004 Kris Meeke Opel Corsa S1600 MON
3
GRE
Ret
TUR
Ret
FIN
Ret
GBR
2
ITA
7
7th 19
Citroën C2 S1600 ESP
25
2005 Kris Meeke Citroën C2 S1600 MON
1
MEX ITA
3
GRE
6
FIN
7
GER
2
FRA
8
ESP
7
3rd 32
2006 Kris Meeke Citroën C2 S1600 SWE ESP
3
FRA
Ret
ARG ITA GER
1
FIN
Ret
TUR
5
GBR
Ret
7th 20
2008 Interspeed Racing Team Renault Clio R3 MEX JOR ITA FIN GER ESP
Ret
FRA NC 0

IRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 WDC Points
2009 United Kingdom Peugeot UK Peugeot 207 S2000 MON
Ret
BRA
1
KEN POR
1
BEL
1
RUS POR
5
CZE
2
ESP
2
ITA
1
SCO
DSQ
1st 66
2010 United Kingdom Peugeot UK Peugeot 207 S2000 MON
Ret
BRA
1
ARG
Ret
CAN
4
ITA
Ret
BEL
Ret
AZO
2
MAD
Ret
CZE
4
ITA
4
SCO
3
CYP
3rd 39

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kris Meeke profile". rallye-info.com. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Kris Meeke profile". krismeeke.com. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Peugeot UK - TV Advert Launched!". krismeekeblog.com. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Meeke to stay with Peugeot for 2010". autosport.com. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Meeke signs for Mini WRC programme". autosport.com. 2 September 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  6. ^ "SS18: Meeke wins Power Stage". World Rally Championship. International Sportsworld Communicators. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Meeke given 'dream' drive in Finland". World Rally Championship. International Sportsworld Communicators. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  8. ^ "SS22: Record for Ogier, Ostberg spins, Meeke rolls". World Rally Championship. International Sportsworld Communicators. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Meeke to replace Sordo for Rally Australia". World Rally Championship. International Sportsworld Communicators. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Citroen's Kris Meeke clinches second WRC victory on Rally Portugal". Autosport.com. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  11. ^ "Meeke wins record-breaking Finland - wrc.com". www.wrc.com. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  12. ^ "World Rally Championship: Kris Meeke survives late drama to win in Mexico". BBC Sport. 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  13. ^ "Meeke's bizarre Mexico finale - wrc.com". www.wrc.com. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  14. ^ "SS6: Corsica leader Meeke out - wrc.com". www.wrc.com. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  15. ^ Evans, David. "WRC news: Kris Meeke: Rally Argentina crash my biggest ever". AUTOSPORT.com. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  16. ^ "WRC: Citroen drop Kris Meeke for Rally Poland". BBC Sport. 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  17. ^ "Meeke cut by Citroen for 'high number of crashes'". 25 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Nicolas Vouilloz
Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion
2009
Succeeded by
Juho Hänninen
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sebastian Vettel
Autosport
Rookie of the Year

2009
Succeeded by
Kamui Kobayashi