MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

MÄKINEN STANDS BY MEEKE

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL TOMMI MÄKINEN HAS CALLED FOR GREATER FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION FROM KRIS MEEKE AND JARI-MATTI LATVALA FOLLOWING THEIR MISTAKES AT LAST WEEK’S NESTE RALLY FINLAND.

Both drivers were embroiled in a lead battle when they hit the same stone in Saturday’s Kakaristo speed test. Meeke retired with suspension damage to the left-rear of his Yaris while Latvala escaped with a puncture.

The Finn went on to finish third while Meeke restarted on Sunday, but went off the road again and retired.

Mäkinen said: “I have told them both, when you disturb the concentration and the focus this can happen, especially on a rally like this.

“I don’t understand why they don’t listen. I think Kris might be confused, somehow, about the overall situation. Yesterday’s (Saturday’s) mistake and everything generally, maybe he is confused. Maybe he was thinking of something else while he was driving.”

Meeke admitted he needed a strong return at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22 – 25 August). He said: “It’s really not been the weekend that I wanted, so we need to pick ourselves up before Germany.”

Mäkinen reassured Meeke about his place with the team, adding: “There is no way we would even think about not taking Kris to the next rally. From our team, we would never do this. No way. Don’t even think about that. Kris will be in Germany, he will be in the car at every rally – he has a contract until the end of the season.”

Source: WRC.com