Rally Finland 2016

Kris Meeke goes in to this weekend's Rally Finland as favourite according to Volkswagen team boss Jost Capito. Although Citroen is only contesting a part-season in this year's Rally Championship, Meeke goes to Finland ninth in the standings and will therefore start the rally eighth on the road given the injured Dani Sordo's absence.

Though Sebastien Ogier, VW's lead driver, still holds a comfortable advantage in the championship, he has not won on gravel all season and VW boss Capito sees no sign of that changing given the current running order rules, placing the points leader first on the road for the majority of each event.

Meeke dismissed Capito's prediction he was near-certain to become the first Briton to win Finland this weekend as "bullshit," he said. "Finland's nothing like Portugal, or Sardinia or Poland. Even if it's bone dry this week, there are only a few places where it'll be more tricky. The weather here has been wet in the run-up to the event. Running first on the road will be no disadvantage at all this week. In fact, it's quite possible it might be an advantage."

Meeke's pace in Finland in 2013 when he was seeking his seat with Citroen was one of the most significant drives of his WRC career, as he ran fifth on his event début before crashing. In 2014 he was third and led early on in 2015 before going off. Having not competed in the DS 3 since his Portugal win in May, Meeke doubts he can win this weekend. "I would have to really stick my neck out to be on the pace in Finland, that's not what this rally is about for me. I had to do that last year, I had to set those times to try and get the long-term deal that I wanted."

1 Sebastien Ogier
2 Andreas Mikkelsen
3 Hayden Paddon
4 Jari-Matti Latvala
5 Mads Ostberg
6 Thierry Neuville
7 Ott Tanak
8 Kris Meeke
9 Eric Camilli
10 Henning Solberg

27th July, 2016