KRIS Meeke took a cautious approach to the first full day of action on Rally Sweden, round two of the FIA World Rally Championship.
After an off in the pre event shakedown which left the Citroen WRC needing to have the steering repaired, the Dungannon driver made up his mind that this round of the series would be a learning curve.
The opening stage, the spectator special saw him finish 10th fastest while Andreas Mikkelsen topped the time charts in his VW Polo.
At the conclusion of day two Meeke put in his best performance on stage seven, the last of the day, to set fourth fastest time, just 4.3 seconds adrift of the rally leader the reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier.
During yesterday afternoon Ogier briefly lost the lead to his Volkswagen teammate Mikkelsen. However he fought back to retake the lead.
Meeke will start day three in tenth position overall gradually gaining confidence and eager to move up the leaderboard.
“I have to say I really enjoyed myself today. Finnskogen is one of the greatest stages that I have driven on in my career,” said Meeke.
“There has been a bit of snow and the temperatures have dropped since we did recce. I’m not too bothered about where I am in the standings – the times only serve as a benchmark for me. I’m pleased with the car and the conditions are pretty good.”
Meanwhile, the Circuit of Ireland’s ‘Lisburn Power Stage’ will make a welcome return visit to the City this Easter.
Part of the European Rally Championship for 2014, the rally has announced a rerun of the thrilling stage at Lisburn’s Civic Centre on Saturday 19th April.
First included in the Circuit’s route in 2011 and repeated in 2012 the popular Lisburn stage attracted huge crowds and support.
Entries will be opening soon and already there has been substantial interest from a number of competitors in mainland Europe for the International Rally as well as national competitors.