Is this Britain's next world champion?

No, we're not talking Jenson Button (although he's looking handily placed after yet another F1 win) but rather Kris Meeke. Kris who?

For those uninitiated in the world of rallying, the name Kris Meeke may mean absolutely zilch but he's someone you might want to start taking notice of. The 29-year-old Ulsterman has promised much for so long on the world stage but for various reasons - finance, opportunity, too many crashes - has never quite broken through.

For some commentators this was a clear sign that he was too much of a gamble for a full World Rally Championship seat - harsh views for a man who was a double British Junior Rally Champion and who enjoyed the patronage of Britain's first World Rally Champion, the late Colin McRae.

However, that could all be about to change. Meeke is now sitting pretty atop the standings in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge after winning his second event, the Sata Rallye Acores in Portugal and looks well-placed to challenge for overall victory in the 12-round championship.

So, why does this matter? Well, the IRC is for cars up to 2000cc, Meeke drives for Peugeot UK in a 207 S2000 and from 2010, the World Rally Championship turns to the S2000 regulations. Olivier Quesnel, the sporting boss of reigning WRC champions, Citroen, who share the same parent company as Peugeot, admits that Meeke is a strong contender for a Citroen seat. After rapping on the door of the WRC for so long, Meeke could be about to join the big boys after all.
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