Citroën unceremoniously drops Kris Meeke from its rally team

Northern Irish rally driver, Kris Meeke, has lost his drive with Citroën Racing after a series of ‘particularly heavy’ accidents

Last night, Citroën Racing released a statement declaring that Kris Meeke would no longer drive for the team. The decision was made on the grounds of safety, due to the excessive number of crashes that have occurred with Meeke behind the wheel of his C3 WRC.

Peirre Budar, director of Citroën Racing, said: ‘This wasn’t an easy decision to make because it affects a driver and a co-driver, but it is largely founded on safety issues which come under my preoccupations as team principal. We have consequently chosen to make this decision as a preventive measure.’

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

> Citroën DS 3 review

At the last WRC round in Portugal, Meeke was airlifted to hospital for medical checks following a severe crash. Earlier in the season he squandered his chances of catching Sebastien Ogier in Mexico with a mistake he described as ‘stupid’. He finished that rally in third, the only podium position he’s had this season.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Of course, Meeke isn’t the first rally driver to get a reputation for crashing repeatedly, but since joining Citroën in 2013 the 38-year-old rally driver has only won five WRC events, with a highest place championship result of fifth.

Without the results it has hoped for and crashes that Citroën Racing has described as ‘particularly heavy and could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew’s safety’, it’s not hard to see why the team has come to this decision.

> The future of rallying

However, the statement didn’t have the veil of courtesy that most official releases are covered with and was particularly blunt. Meeke clearly wasn’t given much notice before the decision was made public, either; only 40-or-so minutes before Citroën Racing announced Meeke and his navigator, Paul Nagle, would no longer be part of the team, the British rally driver had taken to social media to proclaim his excitement for the next WRC round in Sardinia.

Citroën Racing has not revealed who will take Meeke’s place for the rest of the season, only that Craig Breen and Mads Ostberg will still drive as planned. Nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb had agreed to compete for three rounds of this year’s season, but with a gap in its driver line-up, Citroën Racing may want to extend that contract.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/citroen/22216/citroen-c5-aircross-review-exactly-like-a-porsche-911-gt3-sort-of
Citroen

Citroen C5 Aircross review

2 Feb 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-leaked-ahead-of-reveal
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI leaked ahead of reveal

Following a slew of spy shots last year, a camo-free Mk8 Golf GTI surfaces online
20 Jan 2020
Visit/ford/202122/ford-focus-rs500-v-audi-rs3-new-v-used
Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS500 v Audi RS3 – new v used

One’s an eight-year-old Ford, the other a brand new Audi. But which of these five‑cylinder superhatches deserves your £45k?
18 Jan 2020
Visit/lotus/202124/lotuss-badge-engineered-specials-from-cortina-to-carlton-and-vx220
Lotus

Lotus's badge-engineered specials: from Cortina to Carlton and VX220

Some collaborations more secretive than others, a handful of models have received backing from Lotus over the years. We've gathered the very best
19 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019