Saturday 16 December 2017

Meeke reigns in Spain with special win

Paul Nagle and Kris Meeke (right) celebrate on the podium after winning the 53th Rally of Catalonia yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Paul Nagle and Kris Meeke (right) celebrate on the podium after winning the 53th Rally of Catalonia yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Dungannon's Kris Meeke and his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle triumphed at the Rally of Spain-Catalunya for Citroen yesterday while reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier moved closer to a fifth successive title with second place.

The victory was Meeke's second of the season, after Mexico, and he finished 28 seconds clear of the Frenchman's M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

The Irish duo have endured a frustrating season since that Mexican victory last March and Meeke in particular accused members of the Citroen team of undermining his position.

All that was put to one side in Spain as Meeke drove his Citroen to victory.

The 38-year-old moved to the top of the leaderboard thanks to a win on Saturday's opening stage seven and three further top-three finishes as the rally switched from gravel to asphalt worked in his favour as he took a 13-second lead into the final day.

"It's been an exceptional weekend,"said Meeke.

"We always knew that the car was good on Tarmac so we got through on the gravel on Friday and the C3 has been incredible here."

"It's not so important the many times you are knocked down, it's about how many times you are able to stand back up again."

Meawhile, Kildare driver Kevin O'Hara withstood tremendous pressure to win the main Irish Formula Ford 1600 race of the year, the Martin Donnelly Trophy event, when he took the lead of the 21-lap race at the start, and stayed in front all the way to the chequered flag.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport