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Dec 10, 2013 - 11:18 AM
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Rally Boss Welcomes Another Major Boost For British Rallying
Posted by: newsla on Dec 10, 2013 - 11:17 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Rally Boss Welcomes Another Major Boost For British Rallying


British rallying has received another major boost with Citroën Racing announcing that experienced Northern Ireland driver Kris Meeke will be joining its title-winning Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.

 

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Meeke will become the first British driver to compete in a full WRC season with a front-running factory team since rallying legend Colin McRae’s swansong in 2003.

The news is a further fillip for the sport in the UK coming just a few weeks after the revitalised Wales Rally GB – Britain’s concluding round of the FIA World Rally Championship – attracted huge crowds not seen in recent years.

“What an amazing turn around!” enthused Andrew Coe, Chief Executive of Wales Rally GB organiser International Motor Sports. “Only a few months ago there were those fearing for the sport’s future in this country – now we not only have one of the finest rounds on the WRC calendar but also a British driver back in a front-running factory outfit. Ever since the glorious days of Colin McRae and Richard Burns, we’ve been desperate to see one of our drivers back in a top team – now that day has come. Like all British rally fans, we wish Kris and Paul the very best of luck for 2014 and look forward to welcoming them to Wales Rally GB next November.”

Meeke – a former protégé of the late Colin McRae – has been on the fringes of the big time for several years having won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge feeder series in 2009 with his co-driver Paul Nagle. The 34-year-old briefly became a member of the short-lived MINI WRC programme during 2011 and more recently, after 18 months out, made a surprise return to the WRC earlier this season with a couple of guest appearances for Citroën in Finland and Australia. On both occasions he showed some impressive speed at the wheel of the DS3 WRC and clearly did enough to secure a full-time drive in 2014.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” admitted a delighted Meeke. “I’m really lucky to be able to work with a team that has so much experience and so many titles. I think I’ve got some potential, but I still need to get some experience under my belt. The Citroën DS3 WRC is a terrific car and I’m going to be able to use the team’s knowledge to help me improve. I know that I’ll have to be patient in the first half of the season and learn all about the rallies that I haven’t done before.”

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