M-Sport Ford driver Gus Greensmith intends to use the 2020 season to earn his World Rally Championship place on merit.
The 23-year-old Briton suffered a difficult start to the year when he slid off the road on the first daylight stage of the Monte Carlo Rally.
But he goes into the rest of the year determined to prove that he truly belongs in the WRC.
“I’ve been fortunate at the start of my career with the backing from my parents,” Greensmith told DirtFish, “but I want to be here on merit – that’s why I’m here now and it’s the only way I want to be here.”
Currently Greensmith has eight more events planned this season, with the potential of two extra outings in a factory Ford Fiesta WRC.
This year’s about me proving my worth and staking my claim to stay in this sportGus Greensmith
He explained that M-Sport had installed performance-related bonus drives into his contract for the coming year.
“I like that, because it’s based on merit,” he said. “I have to earn anything extra.”
Greensmith made clear he was happy with his limited programme, pointing out that it offered the opportunity to learn and develop.
“If you look at Kalle [Rovanperä], he’s doing the full programme,” said Greensmith, “and, maybe, when there’s so much to learn, having so much coming at you when you’re trying to develop and trying to deliver, it’s maybe not the best way.
“I’m happy with nine. I come off the event, do our debrief with the team and then I can go and do my own debrief on top of that. That’s how I like to prepare.
“I’ve shown in Portugal [last year] that when I’m fully prepared, everything else just follows.
“I’ve worked so hard for this opportunity, nobody in the team could question my dedication – I’m giving everything to this.”
Asked what a strong result would like for him this season, Greensmith said: “I’m focusing on [stage] times to start with. Last year we had times which were close to stage-winning times and this year I would really like to see that on 90% of the stages rather than 75 or 80% of the stages.
“The word podium comes to my mind at some point in the season. I’m not going to say when or where and I have a lot to learn before that.
“Portugal is a rally where I feel comfortable and I’ve driven it in the World Rally Car before and that’s one where I want to push harder. The team’s happy for me to push.
“This year’s about me proving my worth and staking my claim to stay in this sport. I need to be giving it everything.”