M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith says his co-driver for Monza Rally, Jonas Andersson, “reminds me a lot of Chris” Patterson as the pair prepare to start their first World Rally Championship event together.
Patterson has sat alongside Greensmith for the majority of this year’s World Rally Championship, and the pair recorded three top-five finishes with a best result of fourth on Safari Rally Kenya.
But Patterson announced ahead of Rally Spain that he would be retiring before the season ended so that Greensmith could find a new co-driver who would then have time to settle in before the start of the 2022 campaign.
Stuart Loudon – who deputized for Patterson on Rally Italy this year – was thought to be the most likely candidate to replace Patterson, but having sat down and discussed the options with his dad and Patterson, Greensmith felt Andersson was the right choice to attempt Monza with.
Greensmith confirmed that his partnership with Andersson is currently a one-off, but the hope is they will become a long-term team.
“The last rally of the season gives us a chance to try it without having to make any long-term commitments.” Greensmith told media, including DirtFish, on Wednesday.
“So we can both kind of see if we’re enjoying what we’re doing, if we think it can work and if it will we’ll carry on.
“If it doesn’t then we won’t, but so far, everything’s going very well.”
It's gone far better than I expected, so I'm very happyGus Greensmith on his relationship with Jonas Andersson so far
The M-Sport driver believes the fact that Andersson works in a similar way to Patterson is helping them gel together.
“The decision we made was we wanted the closest possible solution to match what Chris brought to the table and Jonas became the exact guy we felt would make the difference,” Greensmith explained.
“So we approached him about doing Monza to see how it goes and obviously, the personality seems to have clicked really, really well, really quickly and he reminds me a lot of Chris in a way.”
Andersson brings to the table a vast amount of experience, having entered 165 WRC rallies since 2002, but most of his career has been spent navigating in languages other than English.
And while Greensmith acknowledges that it leaves a question mark about how they perform together this weekend, the pair have been working hard in the build up to the rally to ensure it doesn’t become an issue.
“We spent quite a few days together before the rally, just doing recce practise just around where I live, just getting used to each other and yeah, there’s been no issues,” he said.
“And today, writing all the English notes, there’s been no problems whatsoever actually. It’s gone far better than I expected, so I’m very happy.”