Meeke satisfied despite podium woe

MINI star takes positives after losing out on third place in Wales

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By www.wrc.com

16 November 2011 - 13:54
Meeke satisfied despite podium (...)

Kris Meeke says losing out on his first podium finish in the World Rally Championship in a final stage showdown with Henning Solberg will make him a better driver in the future.

Meeke, from Northern Ireland, had shone by slashing a 45-second gap to Solberg to start the Wales Rally GB-closing Power Stage just 1.8s behind his Norwegian rival, only for a spin to force him to settle for fourth overall.

“We thought it was impossible [to close the gap at the start of the final day] but we thought, okay, we’d give it a go,” said the MINI WRC Team driver. “We needed to take 10 seconds on the first one and we took 9.9s, on the second one we had to take 12s and we took 13s, the next one we said we have to take 2.5s and we took 1.3s and then on the second loop we finally got it down to 1.8s. But the podium didn’t happen. Normally in a crunch situation like that I like to think I perform better but ultimately I made a small mistake.”

Meeke, who was co-driven by Paul Nagle, was fighting back after losing ground with alternator belt failure and a broken engine mounting earlier in the event.

“To have had all those problems and to be fighting for tenths of seconds going into the last stage after losing three minutes is not a bad effort,” said the MINI John Cooper Works WRC ace. “We learned a hell of a lot this weekend, not only myself as a driver but with the car we learned so much. It was an invaluable weekend, which will make me stronger for the future for sure.”

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