NORTHERN Irish disciplinarian Kris Meeke has active with Toyota to anatomy the best accomplished aggregation in the FIA Apple Assemblage Championship aing year.
Meeke, who was dumped by Citroën afterwards Assemblage Portugal in May, will resume his career alongside Finn Jari-Matti Latvala and the Estonian Ott Tänak, who has won four contest this division for the Toyota Gazoo Apple Assemblage Aggregation and currently is third in the drivers’ championship standings.
His signing was arise today aloof afterwards his above aggregation accepted an able bandy by accepting Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi to accomplice five-time best and M-Sport Ford backslider Sébastien Ogier.
Citroën did not acknowledge the 2019 angle for accepted drivers Mads Østberg and Craig Breen, although media belief this anniversary has the closing affective to M-Sport Ford with New Zealander Hayden Paddon.
One of the bigger disciplinarian shake-ups in years agency this season’s afterpiece at Kennards Hire Assemblage Australia on 15-18 November will be the aftermost time several stars will arise for their accepted teams. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville. Ogier and Tänak are angry for the apple championship on the Coffs Coast.
Ticket are on auction at www.rallyaustralia.com.au.
At 39, Meeke is the oldest front-line WRC driver. He’s started 91 WRC rallies aback 2002 and won five. Although admired as one of the fastest drivers, his almanac of crashes anon concluded his time with Citroën.
Jari-Matti Latvala, 33, additionally aing the WRC in 2002 but has started 193 rallies and denticulate 17 wins. Tänak is 31 and has taken six wins from 91 starts aback aing the championship in 2009.
Toyota appear Meeke activated a Yaris WRC car for the aboriginal time on Tuesday in Finland. He said the action to hunt the apple appellation remained.
“It’s been a difficult few months for me, but I wasn’t that continued abroad and I got that ache back,” he added.
“I still anticipate I can accomplish a lot added in the action and hopefully with this new agitative adventure we can accomplish acceptable things together.”
Long-term co-driver Paul Nagle will not chase Meeke afterwards the brace agreed to an accordant split. Seb Marshall, currently sitting with Hayden Paddon, is angled to alter Nagle.
Toyota Gazoo Racing aggregation arch Tommi Mäkinen said his 2019 agency had the clip and acquaintance to arise addition appellation challenge.
“We apperceive Kris is actual fast, but he additionally brings a lot of experience. His abstruse compassionate is at a absolutely aerial akin and I accept he can accommodate new ability and account to advice us in our aim to accumulate authoritative the Yaris WRC better,” Mäkinen said.
The 27-year-old Finn Lappi, who leaves Toyota afterwards two seasons, is admired as one of the WRC’s ascent stars and believes partnering Ogier can alone advice his career.
“It’s a acceptable befalling for me to accumulate improving. Afterwards accepting abstruse abounding things from Jari-Matti Latvala aftermost year and from Ott Tänak this year, I’ll accept aggregate it takes to be alike bigger if I additionally administer to draw afflatus from Seb,” said Lappi, who active a two-year deal.
Citroën’s C3 Apple Assemblage Car has not won aback Spain with Meeke 12 months ago, but Lappi believes his about-face will pay off.
He lies fourth in the 2018 drivers’ standings and his beginning achievement at his home assemblage in 2017, on alone his fourth Apple Assemblage Car drive, signalled the accession of a new star.
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