Kris Meeke’s team-mate Mads Ostberg ruled out of Australian round after crash

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke

Citroen’s challenge in the FIA World Rally Championship has suffered yet another blow with Kris Meeke’s teammate Mads Ostberg and his co-driver having to withdraw from the Australian round of the series.

They collided head on with a truck, which was also driving on the wrong side of the gravel road while taking part in a recce.

With two cracked ribs for Mads and extensive bruising for Jonas, the crew has had to pull out.

They tried to continue with recce, but it would have been impossible for them to compete properly and safely in the rally.

This is a major blow for Ostberg as he was prepared to fight to regain third place in the Drivers’ World Championship.

Having flown out to Australia to take part in recce for the event as preparation for a future appearance, Stephane Lefebvre was unsurprisingly chosen by Citroen Racing to take part in Rally Australia in the number four Citroen DS 3 WRC.

Without any pre-event preparation, Lefebvre is not expecting to be competitive, but it will be another opportunity for him to learn about rallying at this level.

Should Citroen decide to drop Meeke from the team for the 2016 season, it looks more and more likely that Lefebvre will be the number one choice.

He is very highly rated by the French team and this incident involving Ostberg puts even more pressure on Meeke to perform.

Meanwhile, Jonny McMullan will contest the penultimate meeting in the Avon National Formula Ford Championship at Knockhill this weekend.

The Newtownabbey driver, who heads the points table, is no stranger to the Scottish circuit having raced there in 2011 in a round of the NI Formula Ford Championship.