RALLYING: Kris Meeke looks ahead to Monte Carlo opener in FIA World Rally Championship

Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre
Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre

Kris Meeke will get the 2016 season into gear next month with the Monte Carlo Rally, round one of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The Abu Dhabi Total Team has entered two Citroen DS3s, the second to be driven by Stephane Lefebvre and it has also been revealed that Irish driver Craig Breen will get his opportunity in one of the cars.

Meeke said: “Being able to contest a certain number of rallies in 2016 was important when deciding about my future. I would therefore like to thank Abu Dhabi, Total and all the partners who have made it possible for us compete in very good conditions at these events. “This programme will enable me to keep my hand in as regards racing and continue to learn about the WRC events. From that point of view, it seemed essential to compete at Monte-Carlo,” he added.

“It is such an unpredictable rally, where experience counts more than anywhere else. I can not wait to get back into the car for pre-event testing to prepare for this first race.”

The aim for Citroen is to prepare for a full return to the World Rally Championship in 2017 and Meeke will be the leader of the Abu Dhabi Total Team, when a number of European rallies will be on the programme.

The cars will be prepared by PH Sport and on occasion three cars will be run, although the exact details of the rallies to be entered have yet to be disclosed.

Once again Meeke will have Paul Nagle as his co-driver and this will be the seventh time that the Dungannon driver has competed on the Monte Carlo Rally. His best result was in 2014 when he finished third.

Rally Sweden, which takes place in February, will see three cars taking part and Breen will get his opportunity to take the wheel of a Citroen DS3.