Kris Meeke: NI driver to make rallying return in May

Meeke has been keeping a low-profile since his full-time WRC departure in October
Meeke has been keeping a low-profile since his full-time WRC departure in October

Five-time World Rally Championship event winner Kris Meeke will make his rallying return at the International Rally of Whangarei.

The Northern Irishman, 40, will drive a Force Motorsport-prepared Mazda 2 AP4 at the New Zealand event in May.

Meeke lost his spot in the WRC after Toyota fielded a new three-driver line-up for this year's championship.

The Dungannon driver will be joined by regular British based co-driver Sebastian Marshall.

"I grew up with the images of these famous stages in New Zealand with Juha Kankkunen, Colin McRae and Richard Burns and I always wanted to do it," said Meeke ahead of his debut in the country.

"I want to go and have fun, that's number one priority, I want to enjoy myself and experience the roads.

"I will go and give any challenge 100% and see where we end up."

Until this season, Meeke had been a regular in the WRC, twice finishing in the top five in the championship and claiming five WRC victories.

He won the historic Legend Boucles à Bastogne, driving a Ford Escort in Belgium, but has been keeping a low profile since his full-time WRC departure.

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