Home / News / Opinion: It’s small warn that Citroën has forsaken Kris Meeke, though it is a shame

Opinion: It’s small warn that Citroën has forsaken Kris Meeke, though it is a shame

There’s an atmosphere of unhappy karma about Citroën’s preference to dump Kris Meeke from a World Rally Championship team, yet that doesn’t relieve a beating of a French manufacturer’s rather sudden mid-season bombshell.

Mind you, some people observation a chilling images of Meeke’s crumpled C3 WRC from final weekend’s Rally Portugal competence cruise Citroën’s preference as a many essential choice it could take.

The reserve dungeon of a Citroën stood adult good to a high-speed outing into a scenery, yet Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle were nonetheless intensely propitious to escape. Coming as it did after several other incidents during his time with a team, it seems calm has finally run out.

Meeke’s supernatural tender speed in a convene automobile has never been in question. Neither has his aplomb or application. His consistency, however, has been sorely lacking for a group leader. As an eager believer of British convene drivers, we kept watchful for a breakthrough; that impulse when he strung together 3 or 4 lectern finishes in a quarrel and emerged as a pretension contender.

It never came. An considerable outcome was customarily followed on a subsequent eventuality by a momentum-crushing fumble or a technical failure. Meeke’s strongest deteriorate came in 2015, when he finished fifth in a standings after a certain run during a final 4 events. He’s been adult and down ever given he sealed his dream full-time understanding with Citroën and a weight of expectancy on him has increased.

Can all a censure be laid during Meeke’s door, though? In new years Citroën’s convene attack – as a highwayman group and afterwards latterly as a bureau entrant – has comprehensively unsuccessful to compare a success enjoyed during a era when Sébastien Loeb led a team. Even now, a year and a bit into a life, a C3 WRC looks a handful compared to a rivals from M-Sport/Ford, Hyundai and Toyota.

Riding with Sebastien Loeb during a Festival of Speed

It creates me consternation either a group sourroundings wasn’t right to move out a best in a motorist of Meeke’s temperament. To be fair, he’s substantially not a male to have in your automobile if we wish to shelve adult tedious fifth or sixth-placed finishes in each event. He’s gifted some vehement fitness – such as engine disaster when he was heading in France final year – yet has to shoulder a shortcoming for unwell to move a automobile home on several events.

Meeke’s no-prisoners pushing character is maybe not surprising. His coach was Colin McRae, who of march had a repute as something of a furious motorist in his early career yet managed to quell his excesses when he related adult with Subaru and Prodrive. David Richards and his convene group knew they would finish adult with some focussed and damaged Legacys and Imprezas, yet also appreciated that a accidents would turn reduction visit as McRae matured.

McRae grown into a motorist who was means to stay on a right side of a line between flat-out and disaster some-more mostly than not, and a 1995 universe championship was a result.

In pictures: Colin McRae’s career highlights

What’s bizarre about Citroën’s timing with this preference can be found in a post by Meeke on Facebook published usually mins before Citroen expelled a matter announcing his sacking. Meeke hinted that a group competence have done a breakthrough with a set-up problems it has gifted with a C3 WRC. He wrote that a car’s doing on a sand stages in Portugal was “excellent – a best I’ve had given we brought a automobile into foe during a start of 2017”. 

This isn’t a initial time Meeke has gifted adversity in his WRC career. He was treated feeble by a Mini/Prodrive group that seemed to have handed him a golden eventuality in 2011 yet afterwards forsaken him as a plan foundered reduction than a year later. He bounced behind from that beating and cumulative a Citroën expostulate comparatively late in his career, roughly during a impulse he’d given adult wish of a possibility ever presenting itself.

What he does subsequent is reduction clear. Citroën’s matter doesn’t mention either he’s been suspended from a group set-up wholly and is therefore a giveaway representative or has merely been forsaken from a pushing roster. His skills as a growth motorist helped attract a French company’s courtesy in a initial place and his resources of contemporary knowledge would be useful behind a scenes during any of Citroën’s rivals.

If Portugal was the final time we see Meeke on a World Rally Championship event, it’s value reflecting on a fact that he has 5 top-level convene wins to his name. Of a British drivers to contest in a WRC, usually McRae and Richard Burns have more.

One of his wins came on a flat-out timberland marks of Finland in 2016. It is one of a many specialised rallies on a calendar, and usually a bravest and many learned drivers have ever burst a prevalence of a internal drivers for as prolonged as it has been a universe championship event.

But alongside a names of Kankkunen, Grönholm, Mäkinen, Alén, Mikkola and Vatanen on a winners’ prize is Meeke’s – and that is one ruin of an feat that nobody can ever take away.

Read more

Citroen drops Kris Meeke from World Rally Championship team

Riding with Sebastien Loeb during a Festival of Speed

In pictures: Colin McRae’s career highlights

Insight: a sparkling destiny of a M-Sport convene team

 

 

 

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