Rally

Kris Meeke splits with co-driver Paul Nagle ahead of WRC return

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Kris Meeke will not continue his partnership with co-driver Paul Nagle into his 2019 World Rally Championship return with Toyota.

Meeke and Nagle have worked together on and off for the last 11 years, including their four and a half year WRC stint with Citroen that included five rally wins but also an early-season split with the team this year.

Neither has commented on the decision, but Autosport understands the split is entirely amicable and both have reported they could work together again in the future.

There was speculation at last weekend’s Raglan Rally in New Zealand that Malcolm Read, Hayden Paddon’s co-driver on the event, could be working with the Hyundai WRC driver on a full-time basis next season.

That change would indicate Paddon’s current WRC co-driver Seb Marshall is on the move, and Marshall’s name has been increasingly linked with Meeke in recent weeks.

Autosport understands Dan Barritt, currently Elfyn Evans’s partner at M-Sport Ford, was another co-driver under consideration.

Neither Marshall nor Barritt was available for comment.

Both Toyota and Citroen are expected to make 2019 WRC driver announcements on Wednesday.

Toyota should officially announce Meeke’s WRC return and that Jari-Matti Latvala is staying on to complete the three-car line-up with current title contender Ott Tanak.

Esapekka Lappi is heading in the opposite direction – out of Toyota bound for a Citroen seat alongside Sebastien Ogier.

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