Green­smith tar­gets top-flight drive with two-year R5 project

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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

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