Greensmith commits to rest of WRC season

Gus Greensmith is yet to start a WRC round this year, but that will change this month

Gus Greensmith

Gus Greensmith will appear on every World Rally Championship event from now until at least the Central European Rally, with only the season-closing Rally Japan in doubt.

Greensmith has switched from an M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 to WRC2 and a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 this season, but has yet to appear on any events in 2023.

His first event will be next week’s Rally México where his championship campaign will begin, but although only seven rounds will count towards his WRC2 challenge Greensmith wants to do nigh-on the entire rest of the season.

“Yeah that’s the plan,” he told DirtFish.

“I think Japan’s still a question mark – end of the season whether we do it or not I don’t know.

“But definitely every other rally, just not sure about whether I’ll do Japan yet.”

Asked why he didn’t commit to either the Monte Carlo Rally or Rally Sweden, Greensmith explained that a lack of preparation would’ve made those events too tricky to be worthwhile.

“When we decided we were going to do WRC2 it had gone past Christmas,” he said.

“I’d done no testing – although I had the deal in place and agreed with Toksport, basically there had been no driving in the car since Japan and obviously in WRC2 you only need to score on seven rallies, so for me it made no sense to go and rush into the season.

“I decided that I’d rather have time to settle into the car well, settle into a new team and then start in México.

“I would’ve liked to have done Monaco because it’s one of my strongest rallies,” Greensmith added.

“Sweden I’m not a Scandinavian so that was always going to be a tough one to beat people like Oliver [Solberg] on, but especially Monaco I would have liked to have gone there.

Obviously in WRC2 you only need to score on seven rallies, so for me it made no sense to go and rush into the season. Gus Greensmith

“But I’m happy with my decision as giving me time to understand a new car, a new class and a new team was the right thing to do.”

In contesting at least 10 of the remaining 11 WRC rounds, Greensmith will benefit from plenty of seat time and maintain experience of the rallies he might otherwise have missed.

But the big benefit for him this year will be a proper testing program – one he estimates is “three or four times” bigger than what he had at M-Sport given its decision to occasionally save budget and not test ahead of rallies, and the fact testing in WRC2 is unrestricted.

“You want to keep yourself in the car as much as you can,” Greensmith said.

“I won’t be out of a car now until Central Europe so we have a lot of testing before the events and also testing with Škoda Motorsport, so I’m getting I think it’s about three or four times the amount of test days than I’ve had for the last two or three years.

“So I’ll be in the car plenty this year that’s for sure!”