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

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> 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.

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.

Recommended

Visit/spy-shots/202435/citroen-c4-cactus-replacement-spied-with-sleek-new-look
Spy shots

Citroën C4 Cactus replacement spied with sleek new look

7 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Visit/nissan/navara/202666/the-nissan-navara-r-is-a-1000bhp-gt-r-powered-pick-up
Nissan Navara

1000bhp Nissan Navara-R shown in new images - pick-up to pack GT-R power

UK firm SB Motorsport is shoehorning the powertrain from a Nissan GT-R under the body of a Navara, and progress is coming along nicely
28 Sep 2020
Visit/lexus/lc500/convertible
Lexus LC

Lexus LC500 Convertible 2020 review – eccentric cabriolet is as glamorous as it looks

The eccentric LC500 cabriolet is better than a boulevard cruiser and feels every inch the halo product Lexus intended
29 Sep 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/201971/ford-mustang-mach-e-gt-turns-up-electric-suv-to-459bhp
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT turns up electric SUV to 459bhp

The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV has gained a hot GT variant, rivalling Tesla’s Model Y Performance
28 Sep 2020
Visit/bmw/4-series-convertible/203137/2020-bmw-4-series-convertible-revealed-with-new-soft-top-roof
BMW 4 Series convertible

2020 BMW 4-series Convertible revealed with new soft top roof

For those averse to the super-size kidney grilles fitted to the new BMW 4-series Coupe, the new Convertible will serve as no consolation
29 Sep 2020