Wednesday | 06 Jan 2021

Greensmith heads youthful M-Sport Ford line-up

Gus Greensmith fronts a youthful M-Sport Ford squad in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship as he tackles his first full season in a Fiesta World Rally Car.

The 24-year-old Briton is joined by Teemu Suninen and Adrien Fourmaux, who will share a second Fiesta. Suninen’s schedule is yet to be finalised but the 26-year-old Finn will start the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo (21 - 24 January) alongside Greensmith.

Fourmaux, 25, steps up to a Fiesta World Rally Car for the first time in the WRC. The Frenchman will also take on a full WRC2 title tilt in a Fiesta Rally2, starting at Monte-Carlo.

Greensmith and co-driver Elliott Edmondson scored a career-best fifth place in Turkey last year and team principal Richard Millener backed the pair to maintain their progress.

“We’re delighted to offer him [Greensmith] his first full season with the top-specification Fiesta, and want to see him and Elliott take maximum experience from a full rally and test programme – learning not only the rallies, but the intricacies of set-up, engineering and everything that goes into becoming a world-class driver,” he said.

Teemu Suninen has a partial programme for 2021

Suninen will have a new co-driver, yet to be confirmed, following the experienced Jarmo Lehtinen’s decision to stand down.

“We all know that Teemu has the speed. It’s something we saw on his very first outing with the Ford Fiesta WRC and we felt it important to find a way for him to continue with us this year. We’ve managed to create a partial WRC programme for him and will target specific events where he and the Fiesta can be competitive,” Millener explained.

Fourmaux and co-driver Renaud Jamoul finished third in WRC2 last season and Millener feels the time is right for them to move into the WRC’s top tier.

“We want to ensure he gets to experience as many rallies as possible, continuing to showcase the performance of the Fiesta Rally2 but also starting to pit himself against the world’s best,” he said.

Adrien Fourmaux gets his big chance in a Fiesta World Rally Car

Millener acknowledged the pandemic had hit M-Sport’s finances hard but hopes the situation will improve as the year unfolds.

“We will continue to work hard to see if we can increase Teemu’s programme and bring additional top-level drivers into the squad, but we also have to be honest and say that the Covid situation has made things extremely difficult for us.

“That said, we hope there is light at the end of the tunnel and I know that every single member of the team will continue to give their best as we push for the best possible results in 2021,” he added.

The Fiesta’s striking 2020 livery will be carried forward for the new season, with minor changes.

Greensmith said a full top-flight programme was his dream as a youngster.

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“Last year gave us a taster of what to expect, and now we’re ready to throw everything into this season and really focus on progressing throughout year – not only in terms of my driving, but in terms of everything that goes into making a successful career in the FIA World Rally Championship,” he added.

Suninen recognised the difficult times M-Sport is experiencing. “I want to thank the team for their continued support and opportunity to show what I can do this year. We’ll have to wait and see how many rallies I can do, but I will work hard to do my best and deliver good results at every event.

“It’s a shame not to have Jarmo with me again this year, but we knew that this partnership would have to come to an end at some point. I learnt so much from him over the past 18 months, and I want to thank Jarmo for everything and wish him the best of luck in his new adventure.

Fourmaux is looking forward to pushing for top results in WRC2. “We got really close to victory quite a few times last year and believe we have everything we need to succeed this season.

“And, of course, I’m looking forward to some outings with the World Rally Car to experience competition at this level and better understand every element that goes into reaching the very top of the sport.”

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