The FIA has determined that the correct procedure was not followed by marshals at the scene of Gus Greensmith’s crash on SS8 of Safari Rally Kenya.
Greensmith rolled his M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 over onto its side on the first stage of Saturday morning, the front digging into the ruts on a tight right-hand bend and tipping the car over.
He and co-driver Jonas Andersson were uninjured in the accident but because of how the car landed, they could only escape it by kicking in the windshield.
However, the crew was not assisted in their extraction by stage-side marshals and footage emerged online of Greensmith shouting “you had one f****** job” towards the marshals when he had clambered out.
— mits (@mitskimiti) June 25, 2022
Greensmith moved to clarify those comments on a social media post and said “we had been trapped inside the car for over three minutes whilst safety marshals filmed and did not assist either myself and Jonas in exiting the car”.
The FIA opened an investigation into the incident and concluded that the correct safety procedure was not followed at the scene.
A statement, provided exclusively to DirtFish, read: “Following the accident of Car #44 on SS8 of Safari Rally Kenya, the event safety team have yesterday, Saturday 25 June, made an investigation into the incident and specifically the circumstances which resulted in the delay of assistance being provided to the crew.
“It concluded that the correct procedure for managing an accident of this type was not followed at this accident.
“At 08:30, the car rolled, recording a 5G initial impact and stopping with the car on its side. The crew, who were uninjured in the accident, quickly pressed the OK button on the tracking system but they were unable to get out of the car through the door and without assistance of the marshals removed the windscreen to exit the car.
“It is noted that throughout the incident involving Car #44 on SS8, the hybrid system worked correctly, with the safety status displayed via the lights on the car.
“The FIA and the Safari Rally Kenya organizers treat the safety of all involved in the event as the number one priority. The event safety team have been in contact with all safety marshals to reinforce the need to follow the first rule of safety for the new-era hybrid cars to ‘Look for the Green Light’.
“We need to learn from this incident, we must all stay alert and ‘Look for the Green Light’. A solid green light displayed on the front or side of the car means the car is safe to touch, marshals can approach the car and support the crews as required.
“The FIA, with the support and close collaboration of all WRC event organizers, have worked hard to provide educational materials, briefings and spectator awareness to ensure that all those who come into contact with the new Rally1 hybrid cars can do so safely.
“However, we recognize that we are still in the first months of working these cars in the WRC and that competitors, marshals, media and fans continue to progress in their understanding of how we need to manage this new era.
“We want to thank the Safari Rally Kenya organizers for their quick action to address this issue to ensure a safe environment for everyone who comes to enjoy the rally.”
Greensmith did continue after the crash – albeit without his windshield – but retired for good one stage later with engine cooling issues.
After helping his mechanics repair his car for Sunday, Greensmith eventually finished the rally in 16th place but picked up two points on the powerstage – the first final stage bonus points of his World Rally Championship career.