Tuesday | 22 Mar 2022

Greensmith sticks to plan after impressive opening

Gus Greensmith says a strong start to his FIA World Rally Championship season doesn’t alter his podium target for the year ahead.

The M-Sport Ford driver heads to next month’s Croatia Rally (21 - 24 April) as the team’s highest placed full-time driver. He lies fourth in the standings after a pair of top-five finishes from Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Sweden.

Despite that strong start, the Briton stands by the goals he set himself at the start of the season.

“The targets remain the same,” he said. “I wanted a stage win and a podium. The stage win was done in Monte, but there’s still a stage win on a loose surface.

“This year I want to be driving where I’m trying to put myself in the position for podiums all the time, but that doesn’t mean doing anything stupid or trying too hard to make it happen.”

Greensmith’s Sweden effort wasn’t helped by an early overshoot and a transmission fault aboard his Ford Puma. He offered an honest appraisal of the Umeå-based event.

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“I’ll take the blame for Sweden,” he said. “The first stage wasn’t good enough. OK, there were some things with the car, but I don’t think I got it right. I’d gone to that event with good confidence after doing the event in Norway the previous weekend, but I just didn’t put it together.

“With that said, if you’d offered me fifth place after a difficult Friday, I’d definitely have taken it.

“We’ve come away with two fifth places from the first two rallies and a de facto third place in the championship (de facto because Greensmith’s part-time M-Sport Ford team-mate Sébastien Loeb is actually third).

“I just need to keep my head level and keep the progression coming. Consistency has been one of my strong points for the last 12 months, but I want that podium too. That definitely hasn’t changed.”

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