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Davenport Run - Saturday July 13, 2024

Join the Norcal Minis club for an epic drive from San Jose through the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains! Enjoy stunning vistas and wine tasting a...

Kris Meeke's Comments At Wales Rally GB Press Conference

The is what Kris Meeke said according to motorsport.com at the press conference before this week's and weekend's Wales Rally Great Britain - the final WRC event of the season:
Q: The MINI has been strong on Tarmac, what can we expect now that we head into the gravel and mud of Wales?
KM: We have had results beyond our expectations this year on Tarmac. Dani has shown very good speed and was able to fight for the victory in France, but on gravel we don’t know and this is as much a question mark for us as everyone else. This event should be more of a level playing field. The first day in Spain was a little bit of a mess for everyone with the dust and everything so it was very difficult to be able to compare. But here everything is equal, with new stages, and we should be able to find out exactly where we are and learn for the future.
Q: What are your thoughts on these new stages? Do you think you will enjoy them?
KM: Personally I love them. I think my first ever stage in a rally car was stage number 4 about 10 years ago, so I don’t have any memory of the stages but for sure they are typical Welsh stages – really fast and you have to keep your eyes wide open as everything comes at you very quickly.
Q: How would you assess your performance within the team on the limited events you have done?
KM: To be honest I am probably where I want to be right now. Of course you always want to be further ahead than you are, you know? I have come into the WRC at this stage in my career – I have always chased to get a drive here, and to be honest what makes it a little bit difficult is that I don’t have the experience to do what I know I can do. We are now in a generation of drivers who have had two past recces. Back in the mid-1990s it was open recces and these guys here have been recceing two passes every year and it just takes one or two years to get everything under your belt and gain the knowledge. I have to be a little bit patient, but we have shown the speed when we have had to and we have had one mistake that can happen when you climb the ladder. But generally I am very happy and everyone has been surprised by the speed of the car but now we just hope that everything is in place to continue the development and push forward.
Q: What’s the most difficult aspect of the rally for you this year?
KM: I think reading the grip is a challenge for everyone here. The surface always looks the same colour and then all of a sudden the grip will disappear from you when there’s some mud beneath the surface or something. So reading the surface is the biggest challenge, but then of course so is the weather. We’ve seen on the recce that fog can play a good part on the rally – I had to make my notes in Hafren in fog and I’m a little bit apprehensive heading in there. But we got enough practice in Spain of not being able to see where we are going, so we should be fine.
Q: What about next year for you and the MINI WRC team?
KM: As the plan was set out at the beginning of the year, this year was six rallies and we’re at the end of that and we want to move forward into next year and the end target was to be competitive for 2013 to mount a Championship challenge, so next year the development will continue and we can carry on improving the car. I know the engineers have a long list of areas they want to get their teeth into the development so hopefully we can push that into next year.