Gus Greensmith has described his crash on Rally Spain as “weird” – explaining that a pacenote error led to his mistake.
While running 10th, Greensmith headed onto Saturday morning’s final stage just 7.9 seconds behind his M-Sport Ford team-mate Adrien Fourmaux on what has been a difficult event for the pride of Pumas.
However Greensmith would crash and cancel the stage, approaching a tightening left-hand corner with far too much vigour and smashing into the protective Armco barrier.
The impact ripped the front-left wheel clean off his car and left Greensmith stranded in the middle of the stage.
Speaking to DirtFish back at the Salou service park, the 25-year-old explained that a pacenote error had let to his mistake – although it was the same note he has used for the past three years.
“I was having quite a normal stage, was feeling clean nothing spectacular all going OK, and then you kind of come over the top of the mountain and work your way over the other side and in a fast section coming down my pacenotes was five left plus opens stop 40, which was the same as what we used as obviously it’s the same set of notes as last year,” he said.
“I braked when my pacenotes told me to, which has been checked multiple times, and yep, just wasn’t close to making the corner.
“As soon as we put an input it just began to understeer and at that point it was too late.
“[It’s] a bit weird why it was so out because it was the same note I’ve used now for the past three years, so yeah bit of a strange one but it’s not good.”
Greensmith said his pacenotes haven’t been a problem on any of the rally’s other stages, but did confess he perhaps should have accounted for the extra speed he was carrying into the corner compared to last year with additional horsepower from the hybrid unit.
“Just on this section maybe with the hybrid we’re carrying more speed when we get to the corner and the likely answer is I probably should’ve adjusted to that,” said Greensmith.
“But it didn’t feel like anything crazy, so I just did what the pacenotes said and clearly it was wrong.
“For sure it’s very disappointing when it ends up like this. We wanted to just have a nice, consistent rally and to be fair it was all going to plan, having a nice little battle – maybe not for the position we wanted but generally we were all in the same boat, so not ideal.”
The damage to Greensmith’s car is yet to be fully assessed, but he thinks he should be able to restart on Sunday.
“I’d say the car isn’t that badly damaged,” he said.
“Obviously it’s ripped the corners off but they’re corners so they can be reattached.
“Provided there’s nothing else we haven’t seen I think we should be out tomorrow.”