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Kris Meeke: 2017 Citroen WRC car ‘a different beast’

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Kris Meeke believes that drivers will be able to make a bigger difference through the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship season following the introduction of new technical regulations.

A revision to the regulations for 2017 has given teams greater freedom and additional engine power, resulting in more exciting and spectacular cars for the new campaign.

Citroen will return to the WRC full-time in 2017 after only entering select events this year so that it could fully prepare for the regulation change.

After Citroen launched its new car, the C3 WRC, earlier this week, Meeke spoke warmly of the greater challenge that awaits drivers next season.

“The 2017 car is an exciting machine, it’s quite a big step from 2016,” Meeke said.

“We know the regulation changes but when you drive them in anger, they’re a different beast. You really have to be on your game, every metre, to keep on top of them.

“For me, the human element will come to the front even more in 2017, because in places it’s going to be difficult to extract the potential of these cars. At times they are so, so fast.”

Meeke claimed two wins for Citroen through 2016 in Portugal and Finland, and has been tipped to mount a challenge for the title in 2017.

However, the Briton remains coy about his chances, believing that the regulation changes will present opportunities to all of the WRC’s manufacturers.

“We’ve been pushing hard in testing but you can never really tell until you get to competition and go up against other drivers and cars,” Meeke said.

“I’m happy that we’ve done good work but there’s still always that thought in your mind, that we don’t know where we are in reference with our rivals.”

The new WRC season gets underway with Rally Monte-Carlo on January 19.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).