IRC: Kris Meeke Dominates Sata Rallye Azores

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IMay 9, 2009

Kris Meeke dominated the Intercontinental Rally Challenge Sata Rallye Azores to score his second successive win in the series.

Meeke in his Peugeot beat Skoda's Jan Kopecky by 53.1 seconds on the gravel event around the volcanic island of Sao Miguel in the Azores archipelago. With the win he takes the lead of the series, ahead of fellow Peugeot driver Freddy Loix.

Meeke set the fastest times in 11 of the 17 stages. Taking numerous stage wins on the final day despite foggy conditions during the morning, and damaging the front and rear of his 207 as he splashed through huge puddles in the early afternoon.

"This is awesome, a really good result," said Meeke. "The conditions played a big part, what with the fog, the standing water and everything, but to win means a lot."

Peugeot's Nicolas Vouilloz finished third, over a minute behind Meeke and 11seconds behind Kopecky.

Anton Alen lost fourth place on the last stage as a spin stranded him against a wall but he had no reverse gear to extract himself costing him 15 minutes, which dropped him to 18th position. A frustrating ending to a drive which pushed the limits of the Abarth Grande Punto's gravel capabilities.

The next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge is on the asphalt of Ypres in Belgium.

Local Mitsubishi driver Fernando Peres was classified fifth, ahead of the similar car of Austria's Franz Wittman. World Rally Championship regular Conrad Rautenbach finished seventh in his Peugeot, ahead of Ricardo Moura (Mitsubishi).

Pos  Driver             Car         Time
 1.  Kris Meeke         Peugeot     2h36m48.3s
 2.  Jan Kopecky        Skoda        +   53.1s
 3.  Nicolas Vouilloz   Peugeot      + 1m04.8s
 4.  Freddy Loix        Peugeot      + 2m15.2s
 5.  Fernando Peres     Mitsubishi   + 4m45.2s
 6.  Franz Wittmann     Mitsubishi   + 5m33.2s
 7.  Conrad Rautenbach  Peugeot      + 5m35.8s
 8.  Ricardo Moura      Mitsubishi   + 5m41.3s
 9.  Bruno Magalhaes    Peugeot      + 7m03.5s
10.  Bernardo Sousa     Abarth       + 8m13.8s

Quotes and Photo courtsey of IRC