Tough event for the Brits at Rally Poland

Kris Meeke fought back from a puncture in Poland to finish seventh Misfortune for Elfyn Evans as he clipped a rock damaging his suspension

Both the Brits endured some bad luck in the tough conditions of the high-speed Rally Poland, the seventh round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).Road conditions rapidly deteriorated with two stages having to be cancelled. Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke was running third at one point in his Citroen DS3 WRC but lost places negotiating the deep ruts that greeted him and co-driver Paul Nagle. A puncture on Saturday cost them more valuable time however the duo never gave up, pushing hard to make up positions, eventually coming home in seventh.WRC Rookie Elfyn Evans was increasing his pace all the time setting some very encouraging split times. However luck was not on his side as he clipped a rock, damaging the lower front suspension link of his M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC. Welshman Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt were forced to retire for the day but were able to restart under Rally 2 regulations on Sunday. Despite setting some fast split times, they were unable to make it into the top 20 after their retirement.Sebastien Ogier took his fifth win of the 2014 season with Volkswagen teammate Andreas Mikkelsen in second. Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville scored his second podium of the season in third.Britons Meeke and Evans return to action after the summer break at Neste Oil Rally Finland, 31 July – 01 August. The WRC season culminates with the only British round, Wales Rally GB on 13 – 16 November 2014. Both drivers are already looking forward to competing in their home event and tickets are on sale now at Meeke said: “It’s been a frustrating event in some ways because we had good early pace and then we had to fight road conditions in Lithuania, which didn’t help us. We did well when we came back to Poland but then we picked up that puncture. I’m happy with my speed this morning though, and it puts me in a good frame of mind ahead of Finland.”Elfyn Evans said: “I think it’s fair to say that it was a difficult start for us. We were able to build the pace as the weekend went on, but it took me a little longer than I would have liked to adapt. Once we started to get used to the speed, I think the times were quite promising. Just as we were getting to the point where we felt comfortable to up our game and push a bit more, we hit the rock which caught out so many crews on SS14. It was a shame for sure, but that’s just the way it is sometimes and you have to put it down to experience.“It was good to get back out today – to get some more mileage and perfect the notes for the future. It wasn’t a fantastic run being first on the road, but on the whole it has been a very productive weekend. It’s all good practice ahead of Rally Finland. We’ve got a bit of a break now but with a good test before the rally I’m sure we’ll be looking for a strong result.”