Greensmith’s diff switch that foiled his Friday in Sweden

After a career-best performance in Monaco, the M-Sport driver had a challenge-filled first day in Umeå

Greensmith Sweden

Undriveable. Terrible. These are just two of the words we heard Gus Greensmith use to describe the feeling in his M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 on the first afternoon of Rally Sweden.

You can bet there were countless more, perhaps fruitier verbs used when the intercom feed to the World Rally Championship’s All Live service had been cut.

From the highs of a career-best performance and maiden stage win on the Monte Carlo Rally four weeks ago, Sweden has kicked Greensmith and kicked him hard.

As he described it, Friday “morning was more problems plagued, this afternoon was more can’t drive the thing”.

It’s why he was drawn into this rather despaired comment at the end of SS6: “Positives? Not a lot today, not a lot.”

But why couldn’t he drive the thing?


It all stemmed from a gearbox issue which Greensmith’s Puma picked up on the final stage of the morning; a morning that had already ground Greensmith down after an overshoot at a square-right on the opening stage had him on the back foot from the very beginning.

That gearbox was changed at service, but that created a new, hidden problem.

“With the gearbox problem we had in the morning we had to change the entire gearbox which includes the diff which then means I’m on a set-up I don’t like and I struggled with,” he told DirtFish.

“So it’s just been about trying to manage that all afternoon and I found it very difficult: I can’t keep the car in the line, I can’t keep the car straight, but on the other diff the car was doing exactly what I wanted.”

It was clear in Greensmith’s driving that something was amiss. He looked wild, ragged, sometimes out of control even – he certainly was on SS5 when he hurtled into a snowbank and made things even more challenging.



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Without the context it looked like the 25-year-old was simply overdriving, getting too frustrated and trying too hard as a result. But he was learning on the job, trying to get a hold of a car that just wasn’t willing to work with him.

The burning question from DirtFish’s Colin Clark then was: why was one differential set up so differently to the other?

“I mean you want to give yourself options and I didn’t do as much testing as the other two in snow conditions, they were testing last year so for me I didn’t have much experience of what the car was like,” Greensmith explained.

“So I wanted to keep the options open knowing that it might not be the best one but if 10 isn’t then I need somewhere else to go.”

Could it be changed for the rest of the rally?



All the facts you need to know ahead of Saturday's action

“I don’t know if it’s possible to go back to the other one so yeah, fingers crossed.”

But even if it can’t be, Greensmith may have been wrong at the end of stage six. There is at least one positive to have come from his Friday.

“Well it’s two days until I get to see my dog.”

Watch Greensmith’s times with interest as Saturday unfolds.