Meeke scores first WRC win in Argentina

Kris Meeke finally breaks through to win in the WRC

Kris Meeke finally breaks through to win in the WRC

Kris Meeke scored his maiden World Rally Championship victory at Rally Argentina to become the first British driver to win a WRC event since 2002.

The Northern Irishman headed Citroën team-mate Mads Østberg by 18.1sec as the French manufacturer claimed its first 1-2 finish for almost three years. Elfyn Evans completed a great day for Britain by taking his first WRC podium.

The late Colin McRae was the last British winner at Kenya’s Safari Rally and mentored 35-year-old Meeke through the early part of his career.

“The one guy who did most for me isn’t here to see this. This is for Colin. He helped my career out at the very beginning. He supported me financially through to the world championship. Without his support I wouldn’t be here,” said an emotional Meeke.

He led the four-day gravel rally for all but a handful of kilometres in his DS 3, ending a torrid start to the season in which he crashed in the first three rounds.

He led the first leg by more than a minute and measured his pace over incredibly rocky conditions which sidelined many frontrunners to finally reach the top step of the podium on his 58th start.

Østberg fought a fever and an early engine problem to secure his second consecutive runners-up spot. He climbed to second in the championship standings behind Sébastien Ogier, who finished a lowly 17th after fuel injection issues stopped him on the opening stage of the event.

Evans survived final stage suspension problems in his Ford Fiesta RS to finish 3min 27.4sec behind Meeke, conceding a minute as he nursed the car through the test. It was a fitting farewell for the current Fiesta RS, which will be replaced by a new evolution at the next round.

Czech driver Martin Prokop matched a career-best fourth in another Fiesta RS while Dani Sordo recovered from the electrical problem which stopped him at the end of Leg 2 to overhaul Khalid Al Qassimi for sixth in the final stage.

There were just two stages in today’s final leg, but the famous roads of El Condor provided a sting in the tail to a gruelling weekend.

Jari-Matti Latvala retired from third with fuel supply problems in his Volkswagen Polo R during the first pass of the test. Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen and fourth-placed Thierry Neuville both crashed out after hitting the same rock in the repeat run.

New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon was classified 16th after numerous issues throughout the event which included an accident which injured six spectators on the second day.

“Overall it’s been a difficult event but nothing more than we expected,”said Paddon.

“Some things just unfortunately didn’t work out. I think it was important for us to re-join today just to get some confidence and to get some momentum for the next rallies. There were some nice stages this weekend, particularly SS3 on Friday, really nice and smooth. As an event, it’s a nice challenge and different from the others we do, and that’s what the World Rally Championship is all about.”



Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 3h41m44.9s
2 Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 18.1s
3 Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3m27.4s
4 Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford 6m26.1s
5 Daniel Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 10m46.7s
6 Khalid Al-Qassimi Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 11m19.9s
7 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Youth & Sports Qatar Rally Team Ford 16m02.6s
8 Diego Dominguez Ford 18m48.2s
9 Gustavo Saba Saba Competicion Skoda 21m20.6s
10 Federico Villagra Ford 25m19.6s


Driver’s Standings:

Pos Driver Total
1. Sébastien Ogier 84
2. Mads Østberg 51
3. Andreas Mikkelsen 47
4. Elfyn Evans 41
5. Kris Meeke 35
6. Thierry Neuville 35
7. Dani Sordo 30
8. Martin Prokop 26
9. Jari-Matti Latvala 19
10. Ott Tanak 13
11. Hayden Paddon 10
12. Khalid Al Qassimi 8
13. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari 6
14. Nasser Al-Attiyah 6
15. Sébastien Loeb 6
16. Dominguez Stroessner Diego 4
17. Yuriy Protasov 2
18. Nicolas Fuchs 2
19. Gustavo Saba 2
20. Jari Ketomaa 1


Team’s Standings:

Pos Teams Total
1. Volkswagen Motorsport 103
2. Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 85
3. Hyundai Shell World Rally Team 85
4. M-Sport World Rally Team 71
5. Jipocar Czech National Team 32
6. Volkswagen Motorsport II 15
7. Hyundai Motorsport N 9
8. F.W.R.T. 3





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