Meeke wins on Breen program debut

Northern Irishman wins comfortably on first Hyundai Portugal event completing late Breen’s program


Kris Meeke has comfortably won Rali Terras d’Aboboreira, his first event for Hyundai Portugal in place of the late Craig Breen.

Breen lost his life in a testing accident for the World Rally Championship’s Croatia Rally two weeks ago.

He was preparing for what would have been his second start since returning to Hyundai Motorsport, and the Irishman was also competing for Hyundai Portugal with an i20 N Rally2 in the Portuguese championship this season.

Breen won the opening round, Rally Serras de Fafe, but crashed out of round two in the Algarve.

Meeke, who was team-mates with Breen at Citroën between 2016 and ’18, was invited to honor Breen and complete the Hyundai Portugal program, starting with this weekend’s event in Amarante.

And despite just a short test to get acclimatized to the car, Meeke and co-driver Ole Fløene led the rally from start to finish, winning seven of the rally’s nine stages to record a 15.5-second victory over the Škoda of WRC2 driver Marco Bulacia.

Alejandro Cachón, also a WRC2 driver, was third in his Citroën C3 after an entertaining tussle with Bulacia – missing out on second spot by just five seconds.

Meeke’s closest rival among the Portuguese championship runners, two-time PWRC champion Armindo Araújo, was fourth overall and 51.3s behind.

The next round of Meeke’s campaign will be Rally Portugal where he’ll join a stacked WRC2 entry as well as scoring Portuguese championship points.