Following a mighty comeback, Kris Meeke missed out on a podium finish at the Rally GB by a whisker. However, a small mistake on the Power Stage meant Kris had to settle for fourth place.
Special Stage 23: It was never going to be an easy task to make up 45 seconds on Henning Solberg in just six special stages. However, thanks to a sensational performance over the first five stages, Kris came within a whisker of achieving this incredible feat. Stage after stage he ate into Solberg’s lead – ultimately just 1.8 seconds. Ultimately, a slight drop in concentration on the Power Stage was responsible for him coming up just short of his dream of a podium finish.
Despite this, Kris’s charge on the final day of the Rally GB certainly made things extremely exciting again, and ensured that the MINI WRC Team and MINI fans around the world were treated to a thrilling finale to the WRC season.
Let’s not forget that the first season in the top echelon of rallying was only intended as a learning year for the MINI WRC Team. And yet, after six outings, the team has two podium finishes, seven stage wins (five for Dani Sordo and two for Kris), including the Power Stage in Spain, and 59 and 25 points in the Drivers’ Championship for Dani and Kris respectively to its name.
It goes without saying that Kris benefitted from the retirement of World Champion Sébastien Loeb, following his crash. However, that is all part of rallying and should in no way detract from Kris’s performance as he fought his way back through the field.
Dani can also be more than happy with the way his season ended. He finished on the podium in Germany and France, and only a mistake on the second day of the Rally GB prevented him from mixing it with the leading drivers again at the finale of the WRC season. “I am very happy,” says Dani. “It has been a good first year for us.”
MINI fans can already start looking forward to the 2012 WRC Season, which gets underway in just eight weeks …