Tuesday | 19 May 2015

From school notes to pace notes

Schoolboy Gus Greensmith faced two tests of a very different kind today (Tuesday) as he stepped straight from the classroom into the WRC at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (21 - 24 May).

The 18-year-old spent the morning sitting his economics A-level examination at Bury Grammar School in England, before jetting to Portugal to climb into a Ford Fiesta R2 for a pre-event test.

Greensmith is the youngest of 11 entrants in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy which begins in Portugal and supports the WRC’s fifth round. And his educational demands meant he missed today’s opening day of recce.

“The focus is on getting to the end of the rally and completing the event, then we can push more in Poland,” said the British junior champion.

Last season’s runner-up Tom Cave heads the entries after leading every round in 2014 at some point. The 23-year-old Welshman believes the rally’s move to northern Portugal puts added importance on preparation.

“The new roads place even more emphasis on accurate pace notes and that’s an area where I can be confident,” he said.

Gus Greensmith - exam to WRC test

2015 Key Facts

• All competitors will drive M-Sport’s newly-developed Fiesta R2. Powered by Ford’s 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine, the car boasts an improved gearbox, a new braking system and updated electronics and suspension.

• Last year’s rookie champion Max Vatanen has a new co-driver. The Finn will receive pace notes in French from Jacques-Julien Renucci. However, 24-year-old Vatanen has lived in the south of France from a young age so there should be no language issues.

• Norway’s Marius Aasen has also changed co-drivers. He will be partnered by Veronica Engan, who has read notes for Mads Østberg and Henning Solberg.

• Also back from 2014 are Ghislain de Mevius, Nicolas Amiouni and Nil Solans, who won last year’s final round.

Mats van den Brand takes his place as part of the prize for winning 2014’s Trophy shoot-out.

• Portugal marks Will Hudson’s WRC debut but the USA driver will be guided by experienced co-driver Alex Gelsomino, who also sits alongside Ken Block.

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