Kris Meeke won an exciting WRC Rally Spain 2017 that went down as one of the most thrilling rounds of the year. Driving the new Citroen C3 WRC, the Brit crossed the finish line some 28s ahead of second placed Sebastien Ogier in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta. Ott Tanak made it a double podium for the Ford team by finishing third.
As it stands, Ogier has a chance to win the championship at the next round in Great Britain, while M-Sport team only need to finish the next round for them to claim their first championship title since 2007. Ogier’s rival Thierry Neuville had one of the toughest drives in this round, Hyundai continued to show great form but the Belgian driver retired this morning with a broken suspension which ultimately cost him a shot at the championship.
Gravel was initially tough for Meeke but soon as they entered into asphalt yesterday, the Citroen showed its true pace. Taking the lead yesterday morning, he went ahead to win six speed tests today including on gravel after getting the right pace.
Speaking about his victory, Meeke said: “It’s not so important how many times you’re knocked down, it’s more important how many times you stand up again, It’s a special, special win. I remember walking up this road 20 years ago to watch Colin McRae in 1997 in a Subaru. Back then I didn’t even dream I’d drive a rally car here myself.”
It was Tanak who stole the show on Friday’s opening stages before Hyundai debutant, Andreas Mikkelsen took the lead on SS3 and ended the day on top. Meeke would then dominate come Saturday till chequered flag.
Juho Hänninen gave Toyota the best results this weekend by finishing fourth ahead of Mads Ostberg in the other M-Sport Ford Fiesta. Sixth went to Citroen’s Stéphane Lefebvre who crossed the finish line ahead of Elfyn Evans from M-Sport. Teemu Suninen won WRC2 and finished eighth overall.
Jan Kopecký came home ninth and second in WRC2 driving a Skoda Fabia while Ole Christian Veiby rounded off the top ten.
The next round heads over to Great Britain for the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB on October 26.
Photos by At World