Gus Greensmith and World Rally Championship co-driver Chris Patterson will end their partnership after this weekend’s Rally Spain.
Patterson, who called time on his career in 2018 after a partial WRC season alongside Khalid Al Qassimi, came out of retirement this year to compete with Greensmith at M-Sport from April’s third round in Croatia.
The pair have recorded three top-five finishes this season, with a best result of fourth on Safari Rally Kenya, and Patterson has been credited for instigating an upturn in Greensmith’s form.
Speaking in M-Sport’s pre-event press conference, Greensmith confirmed that Rally Spain would be the last outing for the duo.
“It’s mine and Chris’s last event together, which is pretty sad, but unfortunately, it was only ever for a year,” he said.
“We had to get him out of retirement and despite my best efforts – which I’m still not giving up – it’s our last rally.”
Ending the relationship before the season is over would allow Greensmith – who is in the frame for a seat at M-Sport again in 2022 – one WRC event on which to work with a new co-driver before next January’s Monte Carlo Rally, the season opener and the first round for the new Rally1 generation of cars.
Greensmith said a decision on who would replace Patterson was “not made yet” but it would likely be done “the week after Spain because obviously we want to make sure we get it right”.
There is a five-week break between Rally Spain and the season-ending Monza Rally on November 19-21.
“We know how important having a good co-driver alongside me is,” said Greensmith.
“We’re taking our time making the decision but the last decision we made was a brilliant one, so I’m sure we’ll make the same one again.”
Stuart Loudon is one potential candidate who could be drafted in to navigate for Greensmith.
The pair competed together on Rally Italy when Patterson was unable to take part due to personal reasons, but a transmission issue halted their progress and they finished 26th overall.
It has also been suggested that Aaron Johnston could be in contention.
Johnston and Oliver Solberg split last month, after which Johnston sat alongside Takamoto Katsuta for Rally Finland – but it remains to be seen if that arrangement will continue beyond Spain.