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Take a straw poll of famous British rally drivers and the name Kris Meeke is unlikely to be on your list. While household names like McRae, Burns, Wilson, Clark, Hopkirk, Pond, Brookes and others became household names, here in Australia at least, the name Meeke is relatively unknown unless you’re a real rallying diehard.

A new book just released by Veloce chronicles the rise to stardom for the 25-year old from Northern Ireland, and looks closely at his rise to bigger and better things.

With an eye on eventually competing in the World Rally Championship, the red-haired Meeke began his career in club events before moving on to greater heights including winning the 2002 and 2003 British Junior Rally Championship.

With backing from former World Champion Colin McRae, who became Meeke’s mentor, he rose to even greater heights, winning the 2003 S1600 Rally Championship. His 2004 season kicked off equally well and he claimed his first podium position in the Junior World Rally Championship.

Recording 10 fastest stage times during the 2004 JWRC, Kris Meeke was the most successful non-factory supported driver in the Championship, despite mechanical problems ruining several results.

As an example of this young star’s stellar rise to fame, Rally Ireland in 2008 was another awesome result. Despite it being his first time at the event he set third fastest time on the Stormont Super Special stage, being beaten only by two then-current WRC stars, Marcus Gronholm and Sebastien Loeb.

But you can read more about his exploits in this just-released book “Kris Meeke. Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion”. This full color 160 page tome charts his career to the top in a book filled with hundreds of color photos mostly in the red, white and blue of sponsors Peugeot and Total.

The book’s text is absorbing, if a little repetitious, but tells Meeke’s ‘warts and all’ story from the pen (keyboard?) of author Simon McBride.

If you’re a Peugeot fan you’ll delight in the quantity of Peugeot photos which are unfortunately let down by some uninspiring captions (“Getting through the stages”, “Cornering”, “Neat and tidy”. etc.). But if you want to see how results can be achieved by persistence and determination, you’ll enjoy following Meeke’s story in this book.

With the Brit signing on for Mini in next year’s World Rally Championship, his career is well and truly on the rise, and the book is almost certain to be the first of many on his rallying exploits.

“Kris Meeke. Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion”, by Simon McBride
Veloce Publishing

ISBN 978-1-845840-71-6UPC:6-34687-04071-0

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