Green­smith bat­tles to take fine Ju­nior vic­tory

Motor Sport News - - Brc: Mid Wales Stages - SS2, Pikes Peak /My­herin 1 (9.78 miles) SS3, Pikes Peak (8.86 miles)

Pre-event favourite and Drive DMACK Tro­phy driver Gus Green­smith – with co-driver Alex Gel­somino – ral­lied to vic­tory on the Mid Wales Stages, but he was pushed hard by a sur­prise chal­lenger.

Sindre Fu­ruseth took the fight to Green­smith, the 22-year-old Nor­we­gian touted as a rank out­sider mainly down to his car, a Re­nault Twingo R2. The car’s age led peo­ple to be­lieve it would be ob­so­lete against the oth­ers in the class, the Vaux­hall Adam R2, Ford Fi­esta R2T and Fi­esta R2, but the Nor­we­gian was on the pace from the word go with nav­i­ga­tor Go­ril Un­de­bakke.

Through the tricky night stages, Green­smith drew first blood in Hafren/sweet Lamb as the Nor­we­gian suf­fered from a mis­fire, but Fu­ruseth went an in­cred­i­ble 11th quick­est over­all on SS2 to steal the overnight lead.

Wales Rally GB star Robert Dug­gan and Mat­tias Adiels­son fol­lowed in the Vaux­hall Ju­nior Rally Team ma­chines. Both im­pressed with the new car but Dug­gan was strug­gling to find his con­fi­dence on the ex­tremely slip­pery sur­face. He’s still in­ex­pe­ri­enced on gravel and is look­ing for­ward to the Cir­cuit of Ire­land back on as­phalt.

Green­smith was a touch down­hearted not to be in the lead af­ter the night stages, but a huge push on Sun­day morn­ing helped him earn the top spot once again to set up the de­cider af­ter ser­vice. In Hafren/sweet Lamb Green­smith pushed again and was over 13s quicker to ce­ment his ad­van­tage. He held on through the last stage to take the win, al­though he’ll only re­turn for Carlisle be­fore head­ing back to the Drive DMACK Tro­phy.

Fu­ruseth held a com­fort­able se­cond as one of the sur­prises of the rally in the plucky Twingo, and the young­ster is cer­tainly one to watch for the re­main­der of the year.

Adiels­son – the first seeded ju­nior – rounded out the podium spots af­ter a com­ing-of-age drive. The Swede was strug­gling in the slip­pery con­di­tions and with the car in the first part of Sun­day morn­ing, but the Swede’s huge smile had re­turned af­ter “many” set-up changes im­proved the car – and his feel­ing in it – to claw back onto the podium.

Dug­gan was un­for­tu­nate as he picked up a punc­ture in SS5, in a rally he’s hop­ing to for­get. Nev­er­the­less there are points on the board for him, al­though only fifth af­ter MH Mo­tor­sport’s Josh Corn­well and Dai Roberts leapfrogged the Ir­ish­man thanks to his punc­ture. Corn­well is one of the youngest ju­niors in the field and drove way be­yond his years to seal fourth in the Fi­esta R2, an un­der­pow­ered model.

Scot Blair Brown rounded out the top six in his Ford Fi­esta R2T with co-driver Richard Sim­mons.

Class win­ners

ROAD RALLY ROUND-UP

Matt War­ren/andy Pullan got their 2016 cam­paign to win the HRCR Club­mans Cham­pi­onship off to a per­fect start when they took vic­tory on the open­ing round of the se­ries, the Tour of Cheshire. They had a clear run un­til their trip me­ter froze on the fi­nal

Pryce won the Na­tional Cup Ed­wards was spec­tac­u­lar in the BRC 2 cat­e­gory

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