Peugeot UK’s Kris Meeke has accepted the blame for the crash that put him and co-driver Paul Nagle out of the Monte Carlo Rally earlier today. The Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion was in second place overall when he crashed one kilometre into the opening stage of leg two.
He spoke to www.rally-irc.com.
What actually happened?
“It was a kilometre in, I knew the right-hander, I knew there was ice on it and I knew from last year that Nicolas Vouilloz went off there. I came up to the corner and I’d all my big braking done and then I saw everyone’s brake marks in front of me so I thought everyone was going in way deeper than me. So I came off the brakes a bit, got to the corner and went off on the slushy black ice. I was five miles per hour too fast and there was nothing I could do. It was as if it happened in slow motion.”
How do you feel now?
“Not that it doesn’t bother me but I said all along it doesn’t matter how hard you prepare or how hard you try, something like that could happen on this rally. It’s as simple as that. It was my mistake.”
Did the fact you were on a half-studded tyre as opposed to a full-studded tyre make a difference?
“It made no difference in that corner because once you’re on the ice that’s it. I made a mistake with my braking and I was on the ice.”
How much damage did you do to the car?
“The bumper was cracked, that’s it, but we were stuck maybe 20 feet down a bank and there was no way we could get out while the stage was still going on. We drove the car back once we’d got it out.”
You left Monte Carlo last year with no points but still won the championship. Can you take heart from that fact?
“I take some inspiration that we were able to still win the championship last year despite not scoring points on this rally. It was my target to change that this year so we’d get more of an advantage leaving here. But we’re fortunate that we have a commitment from Peugeot UK that we’re doing all of the rallies if need be so with seven rounds counting we’re still very much in the hunt.”