Outgoing Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Kris Meeke has vowed to push flat-out through the final day of his Peugeot UK career in an effort to grab a podium place on the Rally of Scotland.
Meeke's hopes of ending his two-year stint in a 207 S2000 with victory went out of the window when he lost the brakes on his Peugeot on the second run through Drummond Hill this afternoon. The Northern Irishman, bound for Mini and the World Rally Championship next season, will start his last day with Peugeot 16 seconds behind his third-placed Kronos Racing team-mate Thierry Neuville.
"This is not the way it was supposed to end," said Meeke. "But, in a way, this typifies our season. We'll push to get past Thierry tomorrow; third on the event would be enough for us to be third in the championship. It's not much, but it's something."
Meeke thought his brake problem was a legacy of the puncture he suffered on the event's fifth stage.
"The brake pipe had broken where it went into the calliper," said Meeke. "We were about a kilometre into the stage. There was nothing when I went for the brake, I pulled the handbrake and there was nothing - I knew it was a pipe gone at the back."
Aware that pushing the brake pedal again would force all the fluid out of the system through the split brake pipe, Meeke had to stay off the brakes for the next 10 miles. He lost a minute on the stage and was forced to repair the brakes after the flying finish.
"All we could do was cut the brakes to the rear," said Meeke. "This is a pretty simple job, there's a quick release on the side of the peal box. When you do that, you get about 50 per cent of the brakes at the front because there's not the same pressure in the system."
Despite only having front brakes, Meeke was only 16 seconds off the fastest time through Errochty.
"I thought we'd dropped at least another minute in there," he said at the end of the day. "Let's see what tomorrow brings."