Greensmith targets top-flight drive with two-year R5 project
Gus Greensmith will embark on a two-year project to land a World Rally Championship factory drive when he starts this year’s WRC2 series in an M-sport-run Ford Fiesta R5.
Greensmith, who turned 20 on Boxing Day, steps up from last year’s Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy to world rallying’s second tier with the single aim of realising his dream of becoming a professional driver at the sport’s highest level.
“I’m in a very fortunate position to have the backing of my family for the next two years,” the former British Junior Rally champion told MN. “My dad always said he would back me if I showed the right kind of progression and promise in DDFT and we’ve done that. It’s also brilliant news that we’re going to be doing this with full support from M-sport.
“My aim is simple: to put myself in the position in the second year to be taken on as a professional driver. This season is about gaining experience then challenging for the wins the following year. But like DDFT, it’s not all about winning rallies, it’s about showing the speed, consistency and the right approach.”
In addition to his seven 2017 WRC2 rounds (Sweden, Portugal, Poland, Finland, Germany and Spain) Greensmith will also complete the recce for the remaining six WRC rounds and contest the opening round of this year’s BRC, the Mid-wales Stages.
“What we’ve got is an incredible programme and one which will give me plenty of experience to build from in 2018,” said Greensmith, who made his R5 debut at last year’s Rally GB. He was forced to retire on Saturday when co-driver Katrin Becker became ill during the rally.
M-sport’s Rich Millener said the potential for Greensmith was clear.
“He is ready for the step. Once he was used to the car in Wales, things looked very promising,” said Millener.
Craig Parry will co-drive for Greensmith. The Welshman was released by Elfyn Evans after the British Rally champion decided to renew his partnership with Dan Barritt for this year’s WRC.
Greensmith was DMACK hit