Dungannon’s Kris Meeke has won Rally Argentina, becoming the first British driver to win a round of the World Rally Championship for 13 years.
Meeke and his co-driver, Kerry’s Paul Nagle, closed out victory on the final day to put a run of lacklustre form behind him after the Northern Ireland driver had finished 10th in Rally Monte Carlo in January and seventh in Sweden before a non-finish in Mexico.
The 35-year-old took to social microsite Twitter to reveal his delight, writing: ‘Thank you for believing. This one is for you.’
Colin McRae was the last British driver to achieve the feat in 2002 in Kenya.
The mighty trio of works Volkswagen Polos all failed due to fuel injection problems.
Meeke’s victory is a relief for Citroen, with his team-mate - Mads Ostberg - taking the runner-up spot in a dream result after what has been a difficult season so far for the French team.
Many were beginning to cast doubt that Meeke would add a World Rally Championship round win to his trophy list but his performance over the weekend should silence his critics.
Going into the Power Stage there were no team orders from Citroen and Meeke and Ostberg certainly delivered.
Further good news for British rally fans came with Welsh driver Elfyn Evans bringing his Ford Fiesta WRC into third place; however there was a heart-stopping moment on the final stage as the M-Sport Fiesta seemed to loose power in the race to the finish. It was later discovered that the rear suspension had broken.
Success for Northern Ireland did not rest only with Meeke as Glengormley’s Chris Patterson, co-driver to Khalid Al Qassimi, finished sixth overall in their Citroen DS3 WRC and Enniskillen’s Marshall Clarke, co-driver to Abdulaziz Al Kuwari in a Ford Fiesta WRC, finished seventh overall.
There was a little consolation for reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier, who won the Power Stage to claim three bonus points and maintain his lead in the 2015 points table.