Meeke abandons strategy for rest of 2017

Meeke abandons strategy for rest of 2017
By AutoSport

27/04/2017 at 12:48

Kris Meeke says he has abandoned any form of strategy for 2017 and now just wants to win as many World Rally Championship rounds as he can this year.

After retirements on three of the first four WRC rounds of the season, Citroen's lead driver heads to Argentina this week only seventh in the championship and 61 points off leader Sebastien Ogier.

Though Citroen struggled to show pace even before Meeke hit trouble in Monte Carlo and Sweden, the Northern Irishman won in Mexico and was leading in Corsica before an engine failure.

"I've got good confidence in the pace of the car, but it would hard to say that you're riding on the crest of a wave when you've three zeros and sitting seventh in the championship..." Meeke told Autosport.

"At the start of the year, there was a strategy and a bit of plan about how to go about things, but that's gone now.

"It's just about winning rallies."

Meeke's seventh position in the championship gives him a favourable road position for the opening day on Friday.

Told that and the fact his maiden WRC win came on his last Argentina experience in 2015 made him the favourite to win this weekend, Meeke replied "I'll take that, if that's what people are saying", but warned it would not be a straightforward rally.

"You have to be sensible with this rally," he said.

"It's a tricky place where one upturned stone on the line can finish your event.

"It's so easy to get caught out."

Argentina will be the first time Meeke's team-mate Craig Breen has ever competed outside Europe.

"It's been a while since I've started a completely new event, I've been going to rallies where I've been a few times and now I have to prepare extra, extra hard for Argentina," he said.

"It's also quite tricky because I've never done a rough rally in a World Rally Car.

"I have to get into my head what this car can do on those kind of roads, certainly on the second pass where it can get quite rocky."

Breen has finished fifth on all three of his WRC appearances so far in 2017 and is currently Citroen's lead scorer, six points and one championship position ahead of Meeke.

"I've been in a bit of a bubble where things have been going really well, but you have to look outside of that bubble and I expect this week will be one of the toughest rallies I've done," said Breen.