Kris Meeke earned yet another podium on round five of the FIA World Rally Championship in Portugal, however it was success yet gain for the works Volkswagen Polos.
Jari-Matti Latvala winning by eight seconds from the reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier making it a 1,2 for the German manufacturer and it was Latvala’s first win of the 2015 season.
Meeke started Saturday’s stages in second place overall ever mindful that Ogier was going to put in a major effort to catch up with the leaders after a difficult start to the rally for the Frenchman.
The first of Saturday’s stages fell to Andreas Mikkelsen with Meeke setting the fourth fastest time, then the Dungannon driver pulled out all the stops to win the following two stages.
Ogier on a charge topped the time sheets over the three final stages with Meeke setting one third fastest time and two fourth fastest times.
Latvala still managed to hold on to the top spot, but Ogier was just 9.5 seconds adrift with Meeke down to third.
“I feel the Volkswagens are pulling away from the field, my aim is to earn points,” commented Meeke.
Yesterday Meeke added a further three fourth place stages times to his tally and delighted to bring the works Citroen home in what had been a difficult rally for all the teams.
Meanwhile at Oulton Park in the latest rounds of the National Formula Ford Championship Newtownabbey’s Jonny McMullan set pole position and in the first race while taking avoiding action he dropped to 13th, fought back and finished 6th.
Race two and he was denied a win with a safety car on track, he had to be content with second.
The bonus of the weekend for the Motorsport Ireland driver was to set a new Formula Ford record for the Cheshire circuit.