GREENSMITH PROVES BRC PACE
Junior British Rally Championship driver Meirion Evans says the pace shown by Gus Greensmith on Rally Portugal demonstrates the strength of the revamped BRC.
Greensmith was the fastest driver in the Drive DMACK Trophy in Portugal after topping the times before two front punctures and two driveshaft failures ruled him out. Osian Pryce, another BRC exponent, won the class.
The DDFT supports the World Rally Championship package and uses Ford Fiesta R2TS, which Greensmith used to finish first and second in the Junior BRC earlier this year, before beginning his DDFT campaign.
Evans – who also drives an R2T – said of Greensmith’s pace: “It was impressive. I thought Gus performed well over the weekend. OK, he’s had a test before the event and he’s had seat time, he did DDFT last year but I though the others would be closer.”
Greensmith beat Norwegian Sindre Furuseth in Mid Wales – the opening round of the BRC – and was headed by Irishman Robert Duggan’s Vauxhall Adam in Carlisle after a tough event.
“In the British series [the frontrunners] weren’t too far away [from Greensmith],” continued Evans. “I think it’s encouraging you know you can go there and you aren’t going to be a mile away. It shows the strength of that as you had probably four or five drivers on the pace in the BRC, whereas in the DDFT, there was only four or five [on Greensmith’s pace].”
The prize for winning this year’s Junior BRC is a subsidised drive in the DDFT.
Duggan leads the standings by a point over Greensmith after three rounds, with Furuseth 20 points further back in the table. ● Evans is hoping a new engine from M-sport Poland will return him to frontrunning form after competing on the last event in Carlisle with only 60 per cent of the power usually on offer from the Fiesta R2T. He and co-driver Jonathan Jackson still bagged a fourth place finish on the event despite the ailment.
Hurson, who won the event last year, will take to the wheel of the car that Atkinson drove in Rally Ireland in 2007. He upgrades to the S12B from the S10 he has driven since the beginning of 2015.
Hurson will need the uprated car as he trails current championship leader and Ford Fiesta WRC driver Roy White by 24 points.
White said: “It’s a competitive top 10 and Peadar [Hurson] with the new car will be a big threat, as will Declan [Boyle], and Garry Jennings should he have his Subaru ready in time.”
White, who is in his first full season with the Fiesta, added: “We are making progress with the car the whole time. There are a couple more things we want to try before the rally. The terrain in Cavan will be different to what we have seen so far this year and that will be another element. I haven’t driven on those roads with the new car but I’m hoping we can put in a good performance.”
Sandwiched between White and Hurson in the standings is Niall Maguire, who starts at car four in his Subaru Impreza.
Eight of the cars in the top 10 seeded starters are WRC cars. The Cavan Stages event will also feature a large proportion of Irish Tarmac Championship drivers, who aren’t out in action in the series until Donegal in June. Additional reporting by Martin Walsh