MEXICO’S MAIDEN PODIUM
Gus Greensmith & Craig Parry kick-started their WRC2 season with the M-Sport Ford WRT in the hot & high altitude mountains of Rally Mexico. Based in the city of Leon, the rally was to be held over 4 days of 22 special stages. For Gus it was to be a new experience having never tackled the event before. “The reoccurring theme of this rally is the high attrition rate. You have to keep the car in one piece to have a chance of grabbing a good haul of points. That’s what we have to try & do”.
The rally began on Thursday evening on a Super-special street stage which passed through the famous tunnels & streets of Guanajuato. The incredible atmosphere provided some extra motivation as Gus claimed the 3rd fastest time.
Friday would provide the longest & most gruelling day of action Rally Mexico had to offer. 9 stages totalling 155,15km of competitive action lay ahead and as expected, many drivers fell foul to Mexico’s rough roads. Greensmith cleared SS2 with no issues to claim the 2nd fastest time to move up into 2nd position, whilst Rovanpera clattered a large rock damaging his radiator meaning he was to retire for the day. With Tidemand leading, the closest battle of the morning raged between Greensmith & Huttunen. Gus maintained a cool head whilst Huttunen picked up a puncture on SS2 and span during SS4 which allowed Greensmith to build a 40second lead after SS5. “We’re in a solid 2nd place which equates to a 40 second lead over Huttunen when the SS4 timing error is corrected. Pontus is really fast, & I’m not willing to take those risks. We just need to keep the doing the same”.
Huttunen was bow out of day 1 during the battle for 2nd having succumbed to a damaged radiator during SS6. This was to create a large gap in front & behind Greensmith which meant Gus was able to cruise through day 1 to hold a solid 2nd position.
With the large time gaps in front & behind Greensmith, he & M-Sport Ford chose to try new ideas in order to make use of the limbo situation they were in. “It doesn’t matter if we lose time, the gap infront is too big & the gap behind is even bigger. We might as well try something new”.
Gus remained vigilant throughout the remaining 2 days of competitive action in order claim his maiden WRC2 podium with co-driver Craig Parry. “It’s exactly what I came here to achieve. I’m very happy with how the weekend has gone”. Gus & Craig are currently 5th out of 25 in the WRC2 Championship Standings after their first point scoring round.
*Gus will next compete Rally Corsica (Tour De Corse) as a non-point scoring entry.
“I have had plenty of time to reflect on Rally Mexico during the long flight home & there is no denying that it wasn’t exactly the type of approach to I like to take towards a rally. But then again, it wasn’t realistic that we could fight for the win either. We had to drive clean & clever to maximise our points haul…
I think the team at M-Sport Ford & I did the best we could in maximising what we could learn from Rally Mexico by utilising the large gaps in front & behind. We were willing to lose time in order to try ideas we knew probably wouldn’t work so we could gain some valuable experience on how to deal with these issues for the future. In my mind this was definitely the right way to go.
Thank you to everyone at M-Sport Ford for being faultless like usual but especially
We have some good points on the board, & soon we’ll re-enter familiar territory which means we will go like hell again”.