At last weekend’s Rally Portugal, Meeke and navigator Paul Nagle experienced a severe accident in their Citroën C3 WRC and were fortunate to escape unharmed.
Although the Northern Irish rally driver has won five WRC events with Citroën over the past three seasons, he has also had a number of crashes.
A statement issued by the Citroën Racing World Rally Team said: “Due to an excessively high number of crashes, some of which were particularly heavy and could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew’s safety, and given that the risks involved were unjustified by the sporting stakes at play, Citroën Racing WRT has decided to terminate the participation of Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in the 2018 WRC.
“The decision becomes effective from Rally Italia Sardegna [the next round of the WRC, which takes place on 7-10 June], and we will shortly be announcing the team’s line-up of crews for the remainder of the 2018 season.”
The French team’s boss, Pierre Budar, added: “This wasn’t an easy decision to make because it affects a driver and a co-driver, but it's largely founded on safety issues, which come under my preoccupations as team principal. We have consequently chosen to make this decision as a preventive measure.”
Meeke's axing appears to have come to a surprise to the driver himself, who said that he was "looking forward to the next event in Sardinia" in a Facebook post made just minutes prior to the release of Citroën's announcement.