Thu 28 Apr 2022

Greensmith positive despite Croatia blow

Gus Greensmith has remained positive about his Croatia Rally pace after being denied a third successive top-five result.

The M-Sport Ford youngster made a solid start to the event and rounded out the opening loop in fifth overall, but later retired his Puma Rally1 Hybrid after running out of spare wheels due to punctures.

Despite restarting on Saturday and taking a brace of top-three times, the damage was already done and Greensmith eventually finished 15th overall. 

Speaking to after the rally, the Englishman remained positive about the pace shown on his first all-asphalt event in the car. 

“I’m quite happy with what I’ve done, and I think we had some really good speed at times,” said Greensmith. “Unfortunately, the punctures took us out of the running, but I think a top five was realistic. 

“Ultimately, we didn’t score any points and that’s disappointing, but there are some positives. I think we showed good speed, we’ve learned more from the car and we’ve learned a lot in some really changeable conditions.”

The result dropped Greensmith from fourth to seventh in the title race, which means he will start seventh on the road at Vodafone Rally de Portugal next month (19 - 22 May). That, according to the 25-year-old, is not a bad thing. 

Portugal’s gravel roads often favour those with a lower starting position, because the stages become cleaner and faster as dust and gravel are cleared from the road with every car that passes. 

It’s an event which holds fond memories for Greensmith. He made his top-tier debut there in 2019 as well as finishing fifth overall last year. 

“We had two good finishes in a row, so a third was not to be,” he said, “Sometimes it’s like that, but this does give us a good road position for Portugal.

“Seventh on the road next time out is definitely the upside to this one, and Portugal is my rally. I will give it everything I’ve got there to try and get that first podium.”

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Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM