Kris Meeke delivered in Argentina in the latest round of he FIA World Rally Championship, perhaps not just to the extent that Citroen would have liked.
It was a second podium of the year for the Ulster driver, another third overall to accompany his third place finish in the opening round in Monte Carlo.
Citroen have dominated in Argentina for nine years with nine victories, the last eight going to Sebastien Loeb and no doubt they were hoping Meeke could have made it 10 in a row. However, the all conquering VW Polos are simply faster and more competitive than the Citroens.
Meeke kept out of trouble as his team-mate Mads Ostberg went off on stage two, the roads proving very tricky to all, then the Dungannon driver cut the gap to the leader Jari Matti Latvala (VW) whilst other crews retired and he managed to grab third place in the overall standings.
“It was fantastic, it was not always easy because the stages were really difficult,” said Meeke.
“When I saw that Mikkelsen and Neuville had stopped, I eased off a little to hold my position.”
With Latvala and Sebastien Ogier disputing the lead in their VW Polos, Meeke’s mission was to secure his position and a place on the podium which he did.
Latvala kept ahead of the French driver to win by a margin of one minute and 27 seconds. This was Latvala’s first win on the event and VWs ninth win in a row in the World Rally Championship displaying just how powerful they are.
This latest success for Meeke is just what he needed as he has been somewhat in the rallying wilderness since his success on the Monte Carlo Rally, a real confidence-building performance.
Meanwhile, there was drama on the penultimate special stage of the Tour of the Sperrins Rally as the leader Desi Henry’s Subaru WRC ground to a halt and Derek McGarrity shot into the lead at the wheel of his Subaru WRC.
The Glengormley driver had started the final loop of special stages some 20 seconds adrift of Henry.
Alan Carmichael finished runner-up at the wheel of a Mini WRC and Camillus Bradley completed the top three in his Ford Escort.