Meeke mistake left win 'in the hands of gods'

Meeke mistake left win 'in the hands of gods'
By AutoSport

13/03/2017 at 13:38

Kris Meeke says he left his Rally Mexico victory "in the hands of the gods" after a bizarre incident on the final stage forced him to drive through a car park.

After a disastrous start to the season, having only scored two points in two rallies, Meeke led much of the third round of the World Rally Championship season in Mexico, having first taken the lead on Friday morning.

Citroen driver Meeke had extended a margin of 37.2 seconds in hand over Sebastien Ogier before the final stage of the event, and negotiated the majority of the power stage without any problems.

But the Briton had a huge moment with 750 metres to go on the stage, and went off into a field of parked cars, having to manoeuvre his way through the vehicles before rejoining the road.

Meeke lost 23s to Ogier on that run, but had enough in hand to secure victory - his fourth in the WRC, and Citroen's first with its new-for-2017 C3 WRC car.

Explaining his error, Meeke said: "I made a big mistake. I braked and got the car too sideways through this fast right, and as I hit the compression it popped me out and we went into a field.

"After that I was in the hands of the Gods.

"I started to go through some trucks and they started to narrow up.

"I thought I was going to come to a dead end so I handbraked around a truck to go back the way I came, not knowing there was a way out until I saw a gap in the fence and went for it.

"I'm not particularly delighted with myself, but we've won the rally, so I'm happy.

"I had no idea I'd won when I crossed the line but quickly people started shaking their fists and then I knew.

"I'm sure [Citroen boss] Yves Matton will shake his fist at me later for a different reason!"

Meeke's victory for Citroen means Hyundai is the only WRC team yet to triumph this season, while the win moves the Briton up to sixth in the drivers' standings.