Friday 17 January 2014

Rally - Meeke on the make

There wasn’t much snow around today, but there was plenty of water, not just the intermittent showers, but standing water in awkward places, and water which froze in others. Still these boys on the Monte Carlo Rally have got four wheel drive. A doddle, eh?

As for the Citroen Twins, they can be relatively chuffed with their Day’s work, Kris Meeke ended the day holding third just ahead of team mate Mads Ostberg.

According to Kris Meeke: “If I had to choose between the snow and the changes in grip that we had to manage today, I think I’d have to say I prefer the snow! There was absolutely no grip on the worn tarmac roads. When the conditions are like that, it’s so easy to make a mistake. I preferred to control my pace in some sections. This rally is still very tough. We are progressing in line with the plan we drew up before the start. We need to concentrate on the job in hand – we now have a position to defend.”

Mads Østberg commented: “Perhaps I was too cautious this morning when the roads were very slippery. But I avoided making any mistakes. I feel that we improved a lot between the first and second runs. On Sisteron – Thoard, I really wanted to push. I had to force myself to stay calm. In any case, it’s Kris that is just in front of me and there’s no point in me trying to chase him down. Third and fourth would be a good overall result for the entire team.“

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “Tyre choice wasn’t easy all day, but we managed to go for the right option on each occasion. The water, mud and smooth tarmac made the stages very tricky. For Kris and Mads, neither of whom has a huge amount of experience at this rally in the WRC, they were especially tough conditions. Their performances are therefore all the more pleasing. Mads has shown a great deal of maturity, because tarmac is not really his favourite surface. And Kris has followed the plan to the letter: he hasn‘t taken too many risks but has set a good pace. They need to continue to build up experience in the Citroën DS3 WRC. Once they feel at ease, they will be able to express themselves fully and show off their talent. Kris is only 47 seconds adrift of second place and a lot can still happen on the Col du Turini!”

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