Rally GB WRC: Meeke leads as Solberg stars

Kris Meeke leads Wales Rally GB following the Oulton Park opener, with Petter Solberg a sensational third and World Rally Championship leader Ott Tanak only 13th after an error.

Rally GB WRC: Meeke leads as Solberg stars

Crews were greeted with an extremely wet and slippery stage for Oulton's first appearance on a WRC itinerary since 1993, with the 2.25-mile mix of asphalt and gravel proving ideal for R5 machinery to upstage World Rally Cars.

Solberg is marking the end of his professional career by contesting Rally GB - which he won four times - alongside his teenage son Oliver, both driving WRC2 Volkswagens. While the younger Solberg was a frustrated 27th overall having struggled with a misted windscreen, his 2003 WRC champion father held the outright rally lead for a long spell as the majority of the top class cars struggled to get near his 2m50.7s time.

Ultimately only Toyota driver Meeke - who had also been fastest on the shakedown - and Hyundai's title contender Thierry Neuville were able to topple Solberg, with Meeke leading the rally by 2.1 seconds overnight. Tanak lost 8.8s to team-mate Meeke after outbraking himself and stalling as he tried to recover, leaving him down in 13th.

Read Also:

Reigning champion Sebastien Ogier is fourth in the best of the Citroens, ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen and Esapekka Lappi. Double British Rally champion Matt Edwards was another R5 driver to star, setting the seventh-fastest time having switched from his BRC title winning Ford to a Hyundai for this event.

While Solberg and Edwards were the best of the initial batch of R5s that ran ahead of the WRC entry, Kalle Rovanpera and Kajetan Kajetanowicz put themselves into the outright top 10 when more of the second-tier field took to the stage after the top class cars. They ended up ninth and 10th, behind the Toyota of Jari-Matti Latvala - who was fuming at himself for failing to put the de-mister on and being hampered by a fogged-up windscreen following the stage's watersplash.

Elfyn Evans was only 22nd fastest overall as he began his WRC return having missed three events due to the back injury he sustained on Rally Estonia in July, with Craig Breen 11th at the start of his second appearance for Hyundai. None of M-Sport's WRC Fords set top 10 times - Pontus Tidemand and Teemu Suninen leaving Oulton only 12th and 20th in the standings.

Hayden Paddon was 24th overall - last of the five WRC2 Pro entrants and 13th among the R5s - as he made his delayed competitive debut for M-Sport in one of its latest-spec R5s.

shares
comments
WRC drops Australia, Corsica, Spain from 2020 schedule
Previous article

WRC drops Australia, Corsica, Spain from 2020 schedule

Next article

Rally GB WRC: Meeke keeps lead ahead of Neuville

Rally GB WRC: Meeke keeps lead ahead of Neuville
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021