M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith will compete with a new co-driver in the World Rally Championship as Chris Patterson replaces Elliott Edmondson in his Ford Fiesta WRC.
Edmondson and Greensmith first competed together in 2015 in the Drive DMACK Cup and, after a couple of years apart with Craig Parry as Greensmith’s navigator, reconvened in 2019 for a full WRC2 campaign with M-Sport.
They made their WRC debut together on Rally Portugal that year before stepping up to a World Rally Car full-time in 2020 and 2021.
Patterson is more experienced at WRC level having co-driven for Petter Solberg from 2010-2012 – including one year at M-Sport Ford in 2012 – as well as Kris Meeke and, more recently, Khalid Al-Qassimi.
The decision to end our cooperation has been agreeably decided for the benefit of both our careersElliott Edmondson
Greensmith, 24, said: “Elliott and I have been competing together for a number of years now and we have achieved some great results in this time.
“I would like to thank Elliott for his contributions and even though we will continue our careers separately now, I’m sure his skills will ensure he remains a familiar face in the WRC service park.
“I wish him all the best for the future.”
Edmondson, who has also co-driven for 2019 European Rally Champion Chris Ingram and 2020 M-Sport WRC2 driver Rhys Yates in the past, added: “The split marks the end of a very successful and enjoyable chapter of my rallying career, and the decision to end our cooperation has been agreeably decided for the benefit of both our careers.
“I would like to thank Gus, the Greensmith family and M-Sport for our time together and will look fondly upon our achievements.
“I wish the all the best for the future and will no doubt be keeping in contact.”
Greensmith’s and Patterson’s first WRC round together will be Rally Croatia on April 23-25, where they will be joined in the M-Sport team by top-level debutantes Adrien Fourmaux and Renaud Jamoul.
It will mark Patterson’s first outing of any kind since 2018.
This is the fourth permanent co-driver switch of the 2021 WRC season, with Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville drafting in Martijn Wydaeghe just days before the start of the season after failing to agree terms for the year with long-term partner Nicolas Gilsoul.
Neuville’s team-mate Dani Sordo will also compete with a new co-driver this year, with Borja Rozada stepping in to fill Carlos del Barrio’s shoes in what was a far more amicable and less dramatic change than Neuville’s.
Meanwhile Greensmith’s M-Sport team-mate Teemu Suninen is competing with Mikko Markkula again after the pair parted ways in 2018 as Jarmo Lehtinen stepped into a management role at Toyota.