Greensmith praises the new DMACK Trophy rules
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