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Kris Ready for Recce For Opening Round For WRC

Message From WRC Driver Kris Meeke

Hi everyone,
I’ve just started recce for the opening round of the 2018 World Rally Championship, so I guess I’m running late with a Happy New Year! Anyway, I hope you’re looking forward to the season ahead as much as I am.
We’ve just had a couple of days of testing ahead of the first event, Rallye Monte Carlo, and I’m pleased to report that they went really well. Monte’s all about changeable conditions, as you’ll know, so what you’re generally after on test for the event is a little bit of everything.

And that’s pretty much what I got. There was very heavy rain on the morning of the first day, and then it dried out as the afternoon wore on. The second day started completely dry, and then the snow arrived at around midday. So in the second afternoon we had full snow – maybe 20cm of the stuff. So it was perfect in terms of trying all the combinations of tyres in differing conditions.
So as we go into the new season, how do I feel? I think the whole Citroen Racing team is a little bit more prepared than last year. We’ve identified where we were weak 12 months ago and we’ve certainly worked hard to correct most of those issues.

But in some respects, we are in exactly the same place as last year – because, as always in rallying, testing on your own doesn’t really tell you where you are relative to everyone else. I’m sure our rivals haven’t been sitting still over the past few months either; it’s just impossible, at the moment, to say how the gains that we’ve made – and we have made gains – match up against the improvements at M-Sport, Hyundai and Toyota.
Monte Carlo won’t help much with this assessment either, of course. It’s so fickle and specialised an event that it doesn’t really tell you much about outright speed.

As for the year ahead, we know 2017 didn’t go to plan or as we anticipated. So it’s fair to say that we come into 2018 quite humble, determined to just keep our heads down and put a lot of things right. And I’m speaking there for myself, as well as from a technical point of view.
So we’ll take it rally by rally and just try to build something as we go along. Everyone wants to put points on the board nice and early, though – so let’s try to get Monte Carlo under our belt and see where we are.
As always, thanks for your support,

Words Kris Meeke
Images Citroen Racing

Rallyinterviews would like to wish Kris & Paul the very best of luck for the opening round of 2018 WRC and we hope they have a great year a head.

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30 Sec’s With Wrc Citroen Star Paul Nagle


Name: Paul Nagle

Birthday: 29th August

Lives: Killarney Ireland 

Occupation: Professional Co Driver

Road car: Citroen DS4


How old were you when you drove your first car?

17. the day I got my licence


How you finding the wrc this year paul ?

Really enjoying it. Its fantastic to be involved in a full factory team


How do you Find  working with Citroen team ?

Very good. The have so much knowledge of the rallies, they make my job a lot easier.


When was your first rally and what did you think of it?

I did course car in the 1996 historic rally. Very enjoyable day but we ran out of fuel??


When is your favourite event in the wrc calendar and why ?

Monte Carlo. It’s the most challenging and the most famous.


Favourite food?

Steak and chips


Do you have any frustrating memories in rallying ?

Retiring from the lead of rally Germany 2014


Who is your favourite rally driver of all time and why?

Colin McRae. I was growing up in that era. And lived on his playstation game.


What was the highlight of 2014 for you in the wrc?

3rd place in Finland. We were on the pace all weekend..


Are you looking forward to rest  2015 and why ?

Really looking forward to it. The start of the year has been a bit mixed.Cant wait to get back to finland again


 What is in your rally bag on a wrc weekend?

Spare watch,torch,highlighters and spare pencils


Your next event is rally Argentina what is the plan going to for you and kris?

A finish is very important. top 5 would be real good

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Meeke got closest to VW’s dominant duo of Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala in Germany. He moved second after Ogier’s accident on Friday, but squandered a chance of victory on Sunday when Latvala also crashed, handing him the lead with three stages to go. Meeke held the position for less than 30 minutes before crashing his DS3 early in the next stage.

Matton said: “In one way for sure we are disappointed – we were leading, and on the way to continue our run of victories in Germany – but on the other way, if I want to be positive, Kris was doing a wonderful job since the beginning of the weekend, getting closer and closer to his first victory. Okay, now we have to take a little bit of time to accept that we did not win in Germany, but I’m really happy and positive for the future and certainly for Australia.”
Matton denied that Meeke’s crash would affect his chances of getting an extension to his current season contract at the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi squad. “It will change nothing. Last year he did some mistakes also at the end of rallies and I took him this year. I’m only looking at what he’s doing on the rallies and I’m really happy with what he has done. Its only a small mistake but I think that we are closer and closer to the fact that he will be able to win a rally.”

Meeke blamed an incorrect pace note for the crash, but took consolation from the pace he showed earlier in the event. He said: “When we heard that Jari-Matti had stopped, it didn’t really affect me. I was comfortable where I was, and I started the next stage with the same mentality. Unfortunately my very, very first note in that stage was a bit optimistic. I had ‘flat-right tightens’ and it tightened a lot more. I understeered, touched the front and it damaged the wheel and on the next big braking the car snatched sideways and the rear wheel hit the wall, damaging the rear suspension. There wasn’t any mud on the road or anything, I simply got caught out.
“It was frustrating and gutting because it could gave been such a beautiful step forward for me, and the team could keep its winning record in Germany. But this is life and there are so many positive to take from the weekend that I have to try to keep my chin up. I have moved forward so much in the last 3 or 4 rallies. Before I would have got really frustrated and emotional at this type of mistake, but now, okay I’m frustrated but I’m not emotional. I’m able accept it and move forward. That’s what we need to do. I’m determined to keep going until I can run at the front and win rallies. That’s what I want to do.”

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Barrable’s four-month rally drought will come to an end


Robert Barrable will end a four-month rally drought when he contests the Barum Czech Rally Zlín (August 29-31) in his Tunnock’s World Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5.


The last event the 26-year old driver from Swords near Dublin contested was the Circuit of Ireland in April, where he finished a magnificent third overall. Since then Robert has been working hard on his fitness and announced his engagement to girlfriend Olivia Leavy – but now he is turning his attention to his return to the FIA European Rally Championship, and his third attempt at the fast and challenging Czech Republic asphalt event.


Robert contested the Barum Rally for the first time in 2011, but wasn’t classified as a finisher after his time card went missing at the final control. The following year he returned and, together with co-driver Stuart Loudon, finished fifth overall in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000.


Robert’s CA1 Sport-run Fiesta R5 has had a full gearbox rebuild and a meticulous overhaul in preparation for the Barum Rally. He also plans to test the car in the Czech Republic prior to the start of one of the country’s biggest motorsport event.


Competition on the Barum Rally will be extremely tough, with 121 crews from 25 countries on the entry list – including 25 R5 or S2000 cars. Along with Robert, the leading drivers include Ott Tänak (Fiesta R5), ERC leader Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand (ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia S2000s), Craig Breen, Kevin Abbring and Bruno Magalhães (Peugeot 208T16s) and Czech champion Václav Pech (Mini).


Robert: “It’s been four long months since our last rally, so I can’t wait to get back into the Tunnocks R5 and have a real crack at scoring a good result. I’ve done the Barum Rally twice before, so I’ve got a pretty good knowledge of the event. It’s certainly not easy, especially as the grip levels change dramatically depending on the weather. Both times I’ve done the rally, it’s been hot on the recce, very wet during the event, and dry again at the finish. That’s makes everything all the more challenging – and not too dissimilar to Ireland, which is perhaps why we’ve always gone well there. Our best result is fifth, and even though the competition from both the European Championship contenders and the very quick local drivers will be very tough, we’ll be aiming to try and better our best result.”


Stuart: “The Barum Rally is one of the toughest events I’ve ever done, because the stages are so demanding. The weather can play a huge part – in 2012 there was torrential rain on the Saturday and we aquaplaned off the road at one point. As a lot of the stages are done twice, Rob will tell me where the mud is during our first run through so we can adjust the pace notes before the second loop. Barum is definitely a rally where you have to drive to the conditions, and if you master that you’ll be in line for a good result. We haven’t been in a rally car together since April, so we’ll need to sharpen ourselves on the test before we hit a hundred miles an hour down those narrow bumpy country lanes!”


The 44th Barum Czech Rally Zlín contains 15 Tarmac stages covering 147.46 miles (237.33kms), with the centralised service park located at the Barum tyre factory in Otrokovice. Following a Qualifying Stage, which will determine the starting order, the action begins with the traditional opening night-time 5.9 mile (9.51km) stage in downtown Zlín on Friday 29 August, with cars doing three high-speed laps in reverse running order – with the top cars finishing at around 23.00.


Leg 1 continues the following day at 08.00, with eight stages including two runs on the Slušovice motor racing circuit and the Troják stage which, at 14.17 miles (22.82kms), is the longest of the rally. Leg 2 on Sunday 31 August gets underway at 07.00 and goes straight into three long stages. The loop of 40 miles (54.71kms) is then repeated after a late morning service, before the finish ceremony in Zlín at 16.00.


The event attracts a huge number of spectators, while 227 journalists from 18 countries attended the event last year. Daily highlights will be broadcast on Eurosport.



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