Kris Meeke: Northern Irishman’s hopes of 3rd phase gain in Dakar dashed by much more mechanical hassle

Kris Meeke in action at the Dakar Rally
Kris Meeke is making his debut at the famed Dakar Rally

Northern Eire man Kris Meeke’s hopes of a 3rd phase get in his class at the Dakar Rally were being dashed by a further bout of mechanical difficulties on Sunday.

Meeke, who has has a rollercoaster Dakar debut, led Sunday’s stage by a minute and 44 seconds in the light-weight prototype class just after 100 kilometres.

On the other hand, a double driveshaft failure ended his hopes of Stage 7 success.

Following an opening Prologue Stage earn, Meeke’s hopes of contending total ended up sunk on Phase A person last Sunday.

Meeke and navigator Wouter Rosegaar have been main the lightweight class in his Zypher T3 at that phase when just one of his spare tyres caught fire and knocked out his car’s electrics.

The county Tyrone male had to start out from past spot on Monday with his hopes of over-all achievement above and on Tuesday, he expected a further tow to the end location right after stopping with 20 kilometres to go.

Meeke battled back again to gain Wednesday’s fourth phase in Saudi Arabia in the gentle prototype class and early on Sunday, he appeared on class for a further achievable stage acquire prior to his most up-to-date mishap in the 453km seventh stage from Ha’il to Sakaka in Saudi Arabia.

The Northern Irishman finally completed ninth in the stage in his class – one hour 20 minutes and 33 seconds at the rear of Sunday’s winner Cristina Gutierrez Herrero.

In a even further tweet, Meeke vowed that he and Dutch navigator Rosegaar “will get to the finish” even nevertheless “my aggressive spirit is getting a legitimate battering”.

In the total function, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel extended his direct to just about 8 minutes in Saudi Arabia as the rally mourned the passing of former champion Hubert Auriol, the initial to gain on both of those two wheels and 4.

Organisers explained previous race director Auriol, who triumphed on a motorcycle in 1981 and 1983 and in the vehicle group in 1992 when the rally was held in Africa, had died after a prolonged illness. He was 68.

Peterhansel, winner of the gruelling event a file 13 times with six of all those victories on a motorcycle before switching to autos, finished second in Sunday’s phase behind Toyota’s Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi.

The Frenchman’s closest rival all round Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar was fourth and is now seven minutes and 53 seconds driving with 5 levels remaining, just after struggling a flat tyre on Sunday.