Rally Mexico winner Kris Meeke says he was very fortunate to keep his victory following his mistake in the Power Stage, which forced him to go through a car park. After a disastrous start to the season, having only scored two points in two rallies, Meeke spent most of Rally Mexico on top, having led from Friday until the finish.
His lead over Sebastien Ogier was up to 37.2s before the final stage of the event, and the Northern Irishman completed the first 20 of the 21km final test without any problems.
However, he went off-piste with 750 metres to go in the stage, had to drive into a parking lot and manoeuvre past several cars before he was able to rejoin. He eventually only lost 23 seconds to Ogier and secured the win.
When asked about the incident, Meeke explained it was a “big mistake” on his part, and the fact he managed to finish in time was down to luck.
He said: “I made a mistake, a big mistake. I braked and got the car too sideways through this fast right, and as I hit the compression it popped me out and we went into a field. After that I was in the hands of the Gods.
“I started to go through some trucks and they started to narrow up.
“I thought I was going to come to a dead end so I handbraked around a truck to go back the way I came, not knowing there was a way out until I saw a gap in the fence and went for it.
“I’m not particularly delighted with myself, but we’ve won the rally, so I’m happy. I had no idea I’d won when I crossed the line but quickly people started shaking their fists and then I knew.
“I’m sure [Citroen boss] Yves Matton will shake his fist at me later for a different reason!”
Citroen and Meeke is the third manufacturer-driver pair to win in as many rallies, making Hyundai the only team yet to triumph this season.
Thanks to his win, Meeke is now the highest-ranked Citroen driver in the standings in sixth, 39 points behind leader Ogier.