Kris Meeke: Northern Irishman’s hopes of 3rd phase earn in Dakar dashed by a lot more mechanical hassle

Kris Meeke is building his debut at the famed Dakar Rally

Northern Eire gentleman Kris Meeke’s hopes of a third phase win in his class at the Dakar Rally ended up dashed by another bout of mechanical issues on Sunday.

Meeke, who has has a rollercoaster Dakar debut, led Sunday’s stage by a minute and 44 seconds in the mild prototype course right after 100 kilometres.

Nevertheless, a double driveshaft failure finished his hopes of Phase 7 good results.

Right after an opening Prologue Stage gain, Meeke’s hopes of contending over-all ended up sunk on Stage One particular last Sunday.

Meeke and navigator Wouter Rosegaar ended up primary the lightweight course in his Zypher T3 at that stage when just one of his spare tyres caught fireplace and knocked out his car’s electrics.

The county Tyrone gentleman had to get started from very last put on Monday with his hopes of overall accomplishment around and on Tuesday, he expected a further tow to the end area just after stopping with 20 kilometres to go.

Meeke battled back again to acquire Wednesday’s fourth phase in Saudi Arabia in the light-weight prototype class and early on Sunday, he looked on system for a further probable phase get just before his hottest mishap in the 453km seventh stage from Ha’il to Sakaka in Saudi Arabia.

The Northern Irishman ultimately finished ninth in the phase in his class – one hour 20 minutes and 33 seconds guiding Sunday’s winner Cristina Gutierrez Herrero.

In a additional tweet, Meeke vowed that he and Dutch navigator Rosegaar “will get to the end” even nevertheless “my competitive spirit is getting a correct battering”.

In the over-all celebration, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel prolonged his guide to virtually 8 minutes in Saudi Arabia as the rally mourned the passing of former champion Hubert Auriol, the very first to gain on each two wheels and four.

Organisers reported former race director Auriol, who triumphed on a motorcycle in 1981 and 1983 and in the automobile class in 1992 when the rally was held in Africa, had died immediately after a extended illness. He was 68.

Peterhansel, winner of the gruelling event a document 13 times with six of these victories on a motorbike prior to switching to vehicles, finished 2nd in Sunday’s phase at the rear of Toyota’s Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi.

The Frenchman’s closest rival total Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar was fourth and is now seven minutes and 53 seconds behind with five levels remaining, just after suffering a flat tyre on Sunday.