Kris Meeke seems to have known as time on his Global Rally Championship profession – for now a minimum of.
Usually, the Dungannon driving force has now not introduced his retirement officially however has posted an intriguing message on his social media websites pronouncing:
“Ciao for now #WRC… Thank you tgr wrc toyota_gazoo_racing. Time to discover another passions. Let’s have a look at what is 2020 brings…”
The message is accompanied by means of an image of him getting ready to move snowboarding, probably within the Pyrenees the place he now lives.
So, after greater than 100 appearances at rallying’s best degree, together with 5 memorable victories, it kind of feels Meeke has permitted there’s no position for him within the 2020 WRC collection.
His determination comes within the wake of a driving force merry-go-round which used to be kickstarted by means of his 2019 Toyota team-mate Ott Tanak successful the Global Championship and in an instant saying he used to be leaping send to Hyundai the place he’s going to line up along certainly one of his fiercest competitors, Thierry Neuville.
Tanak’s departure opened the door for Sebastien Ogier to wreck his Citroen contract and sign up for a re-vamped Toyota workforce which noticed Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala ousted to make method for former Ulster Rally winner Elfyn Evans and teen WRC2 champion Kalle Rovanpera.
Citroen, the place Meeke had spent maximum of his Global Championship profession sooner than being sacked in 2018 after but every other crash in Portugal, spoke back to six-time champion Ogier’s go out by means of pulling the plug on their lengthy WRC involvement with fast impact.
With the selection of producer groups decreased to 3 for subsequent season, and handiest Evans’ place at M-Game Ford closing to be crammed, Meeke and Latvala joined an inventory of upwards of half-a-dozen established drivers ignored within the chilly.
Toyota boss Tommi Makinen, inspired with Queen’s College engineering graduate Meeke’s enter to the workforce, has prompt there can be a take a look at and construction position for him as they get ready to introduce their new GR-Four Yaris WRC automotive however the Andorra-based Ulsterman has now not commented.
Nor has he commented on his long run plans except pronouncing he intends to pursue “another passions”.
An adrenalin junkie, those passions come with snowboarding, skiing, biking and enduro motorbike driving – he finished the gruelling Baja 1000 around the California barren region in 2012 and has ridden a number of of the Excursion de France mountain phases.
It’s not likely he has completed with motorsport totally and rallycross or cross-country rallying, even circuit racing are different choices.
However having became 40 this 12 months it’s identified he has grown bored with the consistent travelling, particularly the long-haul journeys to the A ways East, Australia and South The united states, and the time spent clear of spouse Danielle and younger daughters Isabella and Alexandra.
If he has seemed within the WRC for the final time, Meeke will probably be easiest remembered for his shocking victory in Rally Finland in 2016, the one British driving force to have received the development referred to as the Holy Grail of Rallying.
Having received the Intercontinental Problem for Peugeot in 2009, his different WRC victories got here in Argentina, Portugal, Mexico and Spain, all in Citroens, and he stays probably the most a hit British driving force after Colin McRae and Richard Burns.
Nonetheless thought to be one of the vital 4 quickest drivers lately within the WRC, he must have received extra however too ceaselessly strayed over what he known as the “nice line between glory and crisis”.
His most assault angle used to be a part of his enchantment, as is witnessed by means of the masses of posts on social media lamenting his departure despite the fact that one identified he may now forestall his cardiac medicine. The WRC will probably be a miles duller position with out him.
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