Kris Meeke has become just the fourth British driver to win an event in the FIA World Rally Championship after emerging victorious from this weekend’s Rally Argentina.
The 36-year-old scored four podium finishes during his first full season in the WRC last year, but has now reached the top step in Argentina, finishing 18.1 seconds ahead of Citroen teammate Mads Ostberg in the final classification.
Meeke led the majority of the rally to follow in the footsteps of Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Roger Clark as a British winner in the WRC. It also marked the first victory for a British driver since McRae’s victory at Rally Kenya in 2002, ending a 13-year drought.
Fighting back tears on the podium, Meeke dedicated the win to McRae, who died in a helicopter crash eight years ago.
“What can I say?” Meeke said. “It’s been an exceptionally long road. This one’s for Colin.”
Norway’s Mads Ostberg completed a Cirtroen one-two, with Elfyn Evans making it a particularly good day for British drivers by finishing third for Ford.
World championship leader Sebastien Ogier saw his winning streak come to an end in Argentina, though, after a fuel supply problem left him down in 17th place in the final standings. He did, however, win the final power stage, meaning that his lead now stands at 33 points over Ostberg.
However, the rally was affected by an incident that saw Hyundai’s Haydon Paddon crash into a group of spectators, resulting in the cancellation of stage nine. As per Autosport, one spectator remains in intensive care at the time of writing.
The next WRC event takes place in Portugal in four weeks’ time.