Green­smith praises the new DMACK Tro­phy rules

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Gus Green­smith says the new reg­u­la­tions for this year’s Drive DMACK Fi­esta Tro­phy have kept him in the series de­spite a trou­ble­some first half of the sea­son for the Brit.

Green­smith has been at the sharp end of all three DMACK Tro­phy rounds run so far this year, but he has yet to reg­is­ter his first win. He missed out again in Fin­land af­ter a wire worked loose on the waste­gate, starv­ing his en­gine of turbo boost for the first af­ter­noon on the year’s fastest roads. He then crashed chas­ing third place on the fi­nal day.

In­stead of one driver tak­ing the prize of seven WRC2 rounds in a Ford Fi­esta R5 next sea­son, it’s split into three paired events, with each pair of­fer­ing two paid-up 2017 prize drives. Por­tu­gal and Poland were paired, Poland and Fin­land were paired and Ger­many and Spain are the fi­nal pair still to come.

Green­smith said: “I re­ally wasn’t a fan of this idea at the start of the year, but I have to ad­mit I would have prob­a­bly stopped [in the series] af­ter this if they hadn’t changed those rules. I wouldn’t real­is­ti­cally have had any­thing to aim at, but I do now. We’ll be back, re­set and ready to go in Ger­many now.”

Once he has com­pleted the DMACK sea­son, Green­smith is set­ting his sights on a Ford Fi­esta R5 de­but at Rally GB.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “The fo­cus is very much on what we’re do­ing right now, but it would be great to step up for Rally GB. I’ve never driven an R5 car, so we’d need a test be­fore, but it would be a great op­por­tu­nity.”

At this point last year, the BTRDA Gold Star bat­tle was sealed in favour of Dave We­ston Jr and his Melvyn Evanspre­pared Subaru Im­preza S12 WRC. This year the race has been hot­ter than ever, with Luke Fran­cis’ Mit­subishi Lancer E9 and Char­lie Payne’s Ford Fi­esta the lead­ing con­tenders.

Af­ter some bad luck and a few re­tire­ments for Fran­cis, he trails Payne by 22 points (see right). How­ever, on dropped scores, Fran­cis leads Payne by three points with the two rounds re­main­ing.

The ad­van­tage still lies with Payne, though. Fran­cis has two re­tire­ments to drop, so any un­re­li­a­bil­ity or mis­de­meanours on the fi­nal two rounds could cost him. Payne only has one re­tire­ment to drop, so he has more flex­i­bil­ity should trou­ble strike.

Stephen Petch is also in with a chance, sit­ting fourth over­all but only eight points be­hind Payne and 11 be­hind Fran­cis on dropped scores. Like Fran­cis though, Petch has two low scores to count. With 30 points on of­fer for an over­all win, it’s all to play for on the Woodpecker and Oc­to­ber’s Track­rod Rally fi­nale.

Ar­ron Newby has been seeded at num­ber one for his rally driv­ing re­turn on this Sun­day’s Phoenix Stages at Ful­beck Air­field.

Newby co-drove on the Greystoke Stages – which he won as a driver in 2015 – on July 10, but the Manx cham­pion has only com­peted in one event in 2016 when he took part on the North West Stages and fin­ished sec­ond.

The Lan­cashire driver has strug­gled to get back in the driv­ing seat af­ter Andi Mort was killed in a crash on the Mull Rally last year co-driv­ing John Mac­crone in a car run by TEG Sport, Ar­ron Newby’s fa­ther Stu­art’s suc­cess­ful team.

“I was on the scene at Mull and it’s taken me a while to get back to it,” said Newby Jr. “On some stages on the North West I didn’t re­ally feel com­fort­able. I’ve done a few events co-driv­ing and I feel it’s time to re­turn to the sport now.”

Newby could use ei­ther his N11 or N15 Subaru Im­preza for the event, but says he might be pres­sured into run­ning the quicker N15 now he has been seeded in front Mar­tyn Eng­land, who drives a Ford Fi­esta R5+.

Green­smith: Chas­ing an R5 drive

Newby makes re­turn

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