WRC: Kris Meeke finishes sixth after tyre trouble in Monte Carlo

Kris Meeke in action during Rally Monte Carlo
Meeke's pace was strong on his debut with Toyota but tyre issues ruled out any chance of a podium finish

Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke has finished sixth overall at Rally Monte Carlo.

Meeke, who had dropped to ninth after two punctures on Saturday, was fourth fastest on Sunday's first three stages.

He won the final power stage to secure five bonus points - his first for Toyota - which put him fourth in the championship.

Sebastien Ogier won by 2.2 secs from Thierry Neuville, with Ott Tanak finishing third.

Meeke had insisted on Saturday that the rest of the rally was about becoming more acquainted with his new Toyota Yaris.

Despite being five minutes off the lead, Meeke improved two positions on Saturday morning when Andreas Mikkelsen and Elfyn Evans crashed out.

On his Citroen return, six-time WRC champion Ogier had been involved in a tight battle at the front with Hyundai driver Neuville.

Meeke was on the pace when he remained issue free, posting the second fastest times in three out of Saturday's four stages.

Mikklesen ripped a wheel of his Hyundai on Saturday's opening stage while Evans put his M-Sport Fiesta in a ditch on the following run.

Meeke had been running second after Thursday's first stage but then lost 45 seconds on stage two because of a puncture.

·Meeke ready for 'fresh start' in 2019

The five-time rally winner's bad luck continued on Friday when the first stage was cancelled due to spectator issues, with his tyre strategy based around gaining time on the opening run.

Boost failure at the end of stage four compounded the time loss, before a broken rim forced Meeke to lose over three minutes with a puncture in a luckless Friday.

Friday's stage six tyre issue was Meeke's third of the event, after a puncture during the pre-event shakedown on top of his two along with Thursday's failure.

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