In a shock move this morning it has been revealed that Kris Meeke might be all set to leave the Citroen WRC squad to join the little known Autoliitto team. Kris was spotted getting some driver tuition from one of Finland’s rising stars at a secret test facility ahead of this weekend’s Rally Finland. Kris went for a seat fitting in the heavily disguised, revolutionary new WRC contender where it became instantly apparent that some modifications will need to be made to accommodate the lanky Northern Irishman. Apparently the pedal box was set too high and the seat mountings require more adjustment. Kris was very non-committal about the test, but professed great interest in the fledgling team.
Only kidding. Kris enjoyed some down-time yesterday after 4 days of testing and ahead of today’s shakedown which comprises a minimum of three runs on the Ruuhimäki stage which was the final stage in last year’s rally.
Able to draw on his growing experience, Kris regards this event as one of his favourites. He finished third last year behind Latvala and Ogier in only his second appearance at Rally Finland in the DS 3 WRC.
Ahead of the rally Kris commented: “I have more experience on the events in the second half of the season. Finland is therefore a round that I am really looking forward to. The stages are fairly similar to the ones we saw last year. There’ll be plenty of excitement and everyone is delighted that the long version of Ouninpohja is back this year.”
Talking about the shakedown, Kris added: “It’s essential to be effective starting with taking pace notes. Adopting the right pace makes the job of reading the lines easier. We’ll also be able to work on the set-up, which is very specific to the high speeds and the big jumps. One of the challenges will be adapting the car to the conditions if the roads become rutted on the second runs. In 2014, I kept up with the front two until the start of the final day. It would be perfect to maintain the same kind of pace, although I know there are quite a few of us who want to fight at the front!”