VIDEO | Meeke Takes His First WRC Victory

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – Rally of Argentina Day 3

Written byMichael Vettas | Images by – André Lavadinho – @tWorld

With just two stages remaining, all that stands in the way of Kris Meeke and a maiden WRC victory is 32.64 kilometres, the famous El Condor and an altitude of 2100m.

At this height the air is thin and engine power is down as the drivers navigate the most technical, famous and narrow stage of the championship.

Before the last stage, drama began early for Latvala with the Volkswagen W Polo R WR Car suffering engine issues before the opening stage.

Midway through the stage the engine gave up, putting an end to his chance of points for this round.  With Latvala’s retirement, Evans moved in to the final podium position.

With the finish line now in sight, Meeke held a 27sec lead over teammate Ostberg with Evans a further 2min behind and barring any major incidents, this is how they should finish the event.

Volkswagen’s Ogier set a blistering pace to win the Power Stage, salvaging much needed points from an event he would rather forget.

Five kilometres into the twelve kilometre stage, Mikkelsen was the first casualty, unavoidably sliding wide and clipping rocks ending his day early.

In what could be described as synchronism, Neuville suffered the exact same fate; it was like watching an instant replay only with a different car. Thierry continued minus one rear wheel although only for a short distance.

Images by Andre Lavadinho

The top three positions finished the power stage line without incident to confirm Meeke as the winner.

Meeke celebrated as he crossed the finish line, a challenge he started 14 years ago. As Meeke climbed out of his Citroen DS3 WRC, he looked towards the heavens wishing that his late team mate, Colin McCrae was here to witness his win.

“All was well until I arrived at the final stage” said an emotional Meeke.

“Once I crossed the line, I was overwhelmed with emotion, it will take me a while to realise what I’ve achieved”

This race was particularly difficult for Meeke although he was full of confidence with his Citroen DS 3 WRC solid and reliable throughout the rally.

The proud yet emotional Brit continued “I’d like to dedicate this victory to Colin McCrae, he supported from the very start and I wouldn’t be here without him.”

His teammate Ostberg in second place was also extremely happy with the result, “This is a fantastic result for the team and encouraging for future rallies, to have both DS3 WRC cars in first and second place is fantastic.”

British born Evans in third place also created history with his first WRC podium; he said “It’s been a crazy rally with so much drama, it feels great to have made it through with such a positive result which probably hasn’t sunk in yet!”

Meeke and Evans also entered the WRC history books being the first dual Brits to stand on the podium together since Colin McRae and Richard Burns back in 2001 at Rally New Zealand.

Evans continued to praise Meeke saying “Hats off to Kris [Meeke] and Paul [Nagle] too, they did an absolutely incredible job this weekend. It’s a great result for them and a great result for British rallying.

Teams now move to Portugal for the 2015 Vodafone Rally de Portugal on the 21st May.

For LIVE WRC coverage, subscribe and follow MyDrive for continual updates from Michael Vettas in Portugal.

Final Standings | 2015 Xion Rally Argentina

1. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) 3: 41: 44.9

2. Mads Ostberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +18.1

3. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 3: 27.4

4. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 6: 26.1

5. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) 10: 46.7

World Championship Leader Board

1. Sebastian Ogier 84

2. Mads Østberg 51

3. Andreas Mikkelsen 47

4. Elfyn Evans 41

5. Kris Meeke 35 points

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