Kris Meeke continues his challenge in what is turning out to be a very difficult season in the FIA World Rally Championship to what is known as the far away round in Australia.
The event is being staged between Sydney and Brisbane at Coffs Harbour and this is one of the Dungannon driver’s favourite rounds in the series.
Meeke led the rally last year; he is currently seventh in the battle for the driver’s title and desperately needs a good result as he fights not only for championship points but for his seat in the works Citroen team next year.
Although it is less distinctive in nature than some of the other rounds, the style of Rally Australia boasts a multitude of characteristics.
In addition to the dust that covers the roads, the small jumps, which can look like the whoops you get on a motocross track, introduce a degree of vertical lift that must be taken into account when defining the set-up of the cars.
Competitive in Australia last season, the Citroen DS 3 WRCs will benefit from the new parts introduced earlier in 2015 and the experience acquired in previous rallies in order to keep on improving.
These upgrades will undoubtedly provide an advantage, especially on day two.
“I have some very fond memories of my last two appearances at Rally Australia,” said Meeke.
“I was competitive here in 2013 and 2014, and last season, I was challenging for a podium spot. This year, the itinerary has changed a bit, but the new stages look magnificent and like they will be very fast.
“If the weather stays dry, my starting position should be an advantage. The idea is not to push to the maximum at the start. I have to maintain the pace I have shown in the last few rallies and avoid even making the slightest mistake,” he added.
The works Volkswagen Polos led by the reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier are again favourites for victory.
The rally starts proper at 1am (UK time) on Thursday and is due to finish at midnight (UK time) on Sunday.