Kris Meeke will make an early return to Nitro Rallycross this weekend, once again taking Jenson Button’s spot at Xite Energy Racing alongside Oliver Bennett.
The five-time World Rally winner contested the rounds in the UK and Sweden and was set to return for the Saudi Arabia round initially pencilled in for December 10-12, which has since been delayed.
“[I’m] super excited to get the call up for [the] next round of Nitro Rallycross with Xite Energy Racing in Phoenix,” said Meeke.
“To get the opportunity to drive one of these US style tracks is awesome! They are like a motocross track but for cars. Just done a track walk… Insane!”
Meeke showed strong pace on his previous two outings, making the final on both occasions before contact halted him in his tracks. He also made it to the last two of the battle bracket at Lydden Hill, but couldn’t repeat that qualifying result at Strängnäs after facing software issues.
Button meanwhile contested the first US round in Minnesota, missing out on the final before withdrawing from the most recent round in California after a crash in practice.
While the 2009 Formula 1 world champion was initially scheduled to contest all North American rounds, including the two Canadaian events at the start of 2023, sources have indicated to DirtFish that he is unlikely to return this season.