Wednesday | 16 Jun 2021

Greensmith flying blind for Safari voyage of discovery

M-Sport Ford star Gus Greensmith says the absence of onboard competition footage is making preparations difficult for next week’s Safari Rally Kenya (24 - 27 June).

WRC regulations prohibit pre-event testing in Africa for manufacturer teams and the crews have no meaningful competitive onboard videos to study as the legendary Safari returns to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 2002.

Greensmith is one of the drivers who uses the WRC+ All Live on demand service, which contains footage from every stage of every rally for every factory driver, as part of their preparations for each round of the series.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Greensmith. “We have the organiser’s videos which we can use, but it is difficult. You get an idea of the flow, but it’s hard to see exactly what the stages are really like.

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“I will watch the videos as much as I can to try to get as much information, but these are the sort that you do have to watch speeded up a little bit.

“To be fair, everybody’s in the same boat on this one. And it’s the same with the testing – none of us can test there.”

The Briton will be reunited with co-driver Chris Patterson, who missed the previous round in Italy for personal reasons, at the Naivasha-based event, where he looks to make further improvements on his pace after a promising start to the year aboard a factory Fiesta World Rally Car.

“We weren’t as close [to the leaders] in Sardinia as we were in Portugal,” said Greensmith, “but we didn’t test before the event.

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“The times didn’t look quite as good, but, for me, my driving felt like it was to a good standard. In terms of what the data shows, I’m happy with what I’ve done.”

• Full coverage from Safari Rally Kenya will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.