Saturday 23 September 2017

Kris Meeke shows the way in the early stages of French Rally

Great Britain's Kris Meeke was in dominant form in Corsica
Great Britain's Kris Meeke was in dominant form in Corsica

Great Britain's Kris Meeke blew the rest of the field away to top the standings after four stages of the French Rally, the fourth round of the World Rally Championship.

The North Irishman, who won the third round in Mexico last month, won three of the four stages on the first day in Corsica to post a time of one hour 16 minutes and 32.1 seconds, 10.8 seconds ahead over Sebastien Ogier in second place.

Meeke outpaced the Frenchman in the first speed test before the Citroen C3 driver made it two from two to open up a sizeable advantage over the reigning champion and lead by more than eight seconds.

Ogier, driving in the Ford M-Sport, hit back to win the third stage by 0.8 seconds to deny Meeke a hat-trick of stage victories but the 37-year-old took the fourth and final stage of the day to put himself on the front foot.

Hyundai i20's Thierry Neuville finished 25.8 seconds off the lead in third with Ireland's Craig Breen (Citroen C3) in fourth, 16.6 seconds further adrift. Spain's Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20) was fifth and Jari-Matti Latvala ( Toyota Yaris) of Finland rounded off the top six .

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