As the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship prepares for the final round of the series, Wales Rally GB, Kris Meeke is building himself up for his home round of the series .
The Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver has had an up and down year and knows that a good performance in the Welsh forests is vital as he is yet to secure a contract for next season. Meeke says the support he gets from the home crowd and the atmosphere surrounding Wales Rally GB plays a big role in performance over the weekend.
“It gives you that extra bit of focus and determination.” said the Northern Irishman, “Some would say I don’t necessarily need that, but any sportsman will tell you driving or playing in front of your home crowd creates a very special atmosphere that you can feed off.
“There’s an electricity on this event that’s just not there on other rallies. You go to somewhere like Australia and there are five people standing around the service park and a handful in the stage, it’s just not the same.”
The Citroen driver was in contention for second place last year before a mistake on the Brenig stage damaged a wheel and Meeke eventually finished sixth. Twenty years after his mentor Colin McRae won the World Rally Championship on the British round of the series the Northern Irishman is hoping to emulate the rallying icon in Wales on what will be a very poignant anniversary.
“Everything’s been said in the past, but you know everybody took a step back when Colin was coming through – you knew it was going to be on the door handles and very, very spectacular,” said Meeke. “Colin’s style and commitment defined an era in the World Rally Championship and it’s right that we take a moment and remember what he did for the sport and for British rallying 20 years on.”
Wales Rally GB kicks off on November 12.