One of the UK and Ireland’s leading equipment rental specialists has appointed a top world rally driver as its brand ambassador for 2019. KDM Hire has partnered with Dungannon-born rally star Kris Meeke in his quest to challenge for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) title.
The Cookstown-based company is well-known for its market-leading equipment rental services but this support for 39-year-old Meeke will see its brand displayed on his racesuit and cap and promoted to fans in over 120 countries.
KDM Hire has supported Meeke throughout his amateur and professional career, from his very first rally event in 2001, through Junior WRC and Intercontinental Rally Challenge ranks and now into the top level of WRC.
This year Meeke has swapped teams and will join the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team for the first time – providing him with his best shot ever at the world rally title.
The Northern-Irish rally driver is one of the fastest in the world and will be pushing hard to take rally wins and challenge for championship honours. His new Toyota team are reigning world manufacturer champions and Meeke has already been testing the Toyota Yaris WRC car on gravel and Tarmac ahead of the championship’s first round at Rallye Monte Carlo this week.
Meeke’s flamboyant driving style and full-commitment approach has gained him a strong world-wide fan-base and that popularity will help promote the KDM brand during 2019. The WRC is broadcast to 850 million TV viewers with every stage shown live – there are also 4 million avid fans who attend the 14-event series across the globe.
The WRC got off to a flying start after its official launch at the Autosport International Show last weekend where Meeke got to show off his 2019-specification Yaris WRC in front of the world’s media.
The opening round of the series is the iconic Rallye Monte Carlo, where Meeke is likely to face dry roads, wet roads, snow and ice – all within the same competitive stage. It kicks off from Gap in the French Alps on Thursday night with competitors aiming for the finish line in Monaco on Sunday afternoon.
Keith McIvor, KDM Hire director, said: “I’m delighted to have Kris as the brand ambassador for KDM and support his campaign at the top-level of world rallying. His energy and passion for the sport relates to our desire to provide customers with the best possible products and services. Our partnership with Kris will see KDM gain exposure on a larger stage and that fits with our growth strategy to expand into new markets.”
Kris Meeke said: “I’m really grateful to Keith and KDM Hire for their continued support, they’ve been with me all the way throughout my career. I have a great opportunity with Toyota, the Yaris looked awesome throughout 2018 and I take confidence from the fact the car seems competitive on all surfaces and that the team took the Manufacturers’ title. I simply want to enjoy my driving again, if I can recapture that feeling, then there’s no reason why I can’t still achieve my personal targets.”
KDM will be keeping customers up to date with Kris’ exploits during the season with special offers released after every WRC round.