WRC rally winner Kris Meeke will drive for Toyota in the 2019 World Rally Championship, securing the top-line drive just months after being sacked by the Citroen team.
Considered one of the out-and-out fastest drivers in world rallying today, Northern Irishman Meeke will complete a full season with Toyota in 2019, lining up alongside Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala.
The drive should at last place Meeke, a protégé of WRC legend Colin McRae, in a car capable of challenging for the WRC title.
“The performance of the Yaris WRC speaks for itself,” said a delighted Meeke, “but the team spirit here is incredible at every level, also with the Japanese culture of honour and respect. I can’t wait to get started.”
Honour and respect, it seems, were in rather short supply at Meeke’s previous employer…
“The very first championship that I won was actually when I was aged 16 and co-driving for my brother on our local road rally championship. We clinched that title in a Toyota Corolla, so for very many reasons, it fees incredibly good to be here.”
Tommi Makinen, team principal and himself a four time WRC champion, said: “We are all very excited to have Kris joining us here. We know that he is very fast, but he also brings a lot of experience.
“His technical understanding is at a really high level and I believe he can provide new knowledge and ideas to help us in our aim to keep making the Yaris WRC better.
“I think we have a very strong line-up for next year, with three drivers who are all quick, experienced and can win rallies.”