Kris Meeke has withdrawn entirely from Rally Deutschland after his retirement on Saturday afternoon, electing not to return under Rally2 rules for tomorrow’s final quartet of stages.
Meeke’s rally began in disastrous fashion after retiring from the opening stage of the rally, following a collision with a concrete barrier in the Saarbrücken city superspecial.
Having returned under Rally2 on Friday, he was slowly trying to re-establish confidence in his driving, but his rally was brought to an end once again by a technical failure occurring in his Citroën C3.
“I felt good in the car today and was gradually upping my pace. Then we had an alarm on the dash indicating an issue with the engine cooling system so we stopped,” explained Meeke.
“We won’t be rejoining under Rally2 rules tomorrow for three reasons: we don’t want to run the risk of damaging the engine, Paul [Nagle]’s wife gave birth to a baby boy this afternoon and we’ve nothing to gain from contesting the last four short stages.”
Despite Meeke’s suggestion the terminal failure was down to cooling issues with his C3, team principal Yves Matton was more coy on the reasons behind the Northern Irishman’s second retirement from the event.
“It’s a shame that Kris had to retire just as he was starting to find some speed and confidence again,” he said. “We’ll try and get to the bottom of the problem after the rally.”
Germany marks Meeke’s fifth non-finish this season, more than any other WRC driver. He and Hayden Paddon are the only drivers to have accrued multiple DNFs so far this year.