Kris Meeke paired with co-driver Seb Marshall at Toyota for 2019

Kris Meeke’s return to the World Rally Championship next season with Toyota will also see the arrival of a new co-driver for the Ulsterman.Seb Marshall, Hayden Paddon’s former co-driver at Hyundai, has been confirmed as Meeke’s partner for the 2019 WRC season.Meeke was picked up by Toyota after being dropped mid-season by Citroen following a tough year, which saw the 39-year-old involved in a high number of crashes.

Marshall’s appointment alongside Meeke will be his first full-time co-driver campaign.

“Thanks for your patience over these past few weeks. I know things have gone a bit quiet since we did those early tests in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Yaris – but that’s because the team has been concentrating on Rally Australia and bringing home the rally victory and the manufacturer’s title.

“Things are falling into place nicely for 2019 now, though, and things are going to begin again for me in earnest, so it’s good timing that we’ve announced today that my co-driver for 2019 will be Seb Marshall.”

Meeke, who has a long relationship with former co-driver Paul Nagle, thanked the Irishman, but said the time was right for a “fresh start”.

“I owe a great debt of thanks to my former navigator Paul Nagle. He and I went through highs and lows together, and he was a terrific companion over those times. I’ll always treasure our victories together in Argentina, Portugal, Finland, Mexico and Catalunya.

“Next year represents a fresh challenge for me, though, so it’s a blank sheet of paper, with a new guy reading the pacenotes. I’ve actually known Seb for quite a long time, in fact, and we all know he’s right up there at the level.

“The priority is to build up that relationship between us in the car, of course, and that’ll start in competition terms in Monte Carlo. But we’ll have a fair bit of testing beneath us by the time we get to that point, and that will help. So I’m very pleased he’s joining me, and I’m confident for the future.”

]Source: Motorsport Week