Gus Greensmith: “This is the most exciting opportunity of my rallying career”

At the beginning of the year we caught up with Gus Greensmith, one of the leading upcoming English rally drivers. As the season comes to an end we thought we would have a quick chat with him before he makes his début in R5 machinery at the 2016 Wales Rally GB.

The 2014 Junior British Rally and BRC3 champion was looking to build on his 2015 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy performance and had high hopes.

“My year has been challenging but promising.” explained Greensmith. “The results have not been there due to a horrible and persistent run of mechanical issues, plus the mistake in Germany were truly stupid.”

Greensmith took second place in Spain - Credit: Sutton Images
Greensmith took second place in Spain – Credit: Sutton Images

It hasn’t all been bad, in the last DDFT round the Englishman took second place. “The pace I’ve shown has turned quite a few heads and I’m pleased with how my speed has developed.” he added.

Asked about how he remains motivated through the tough times he answers, “I have a list of goals I want to achieve and I can’t stop until I achieve them. That’s what motivates me. Sometimes I may come across as unhappy in interviews, but that is only because I want to do well & make those who support me proud. 

“At the end of the day, I’m a rally driver. This is what I dreamt about since I was a young boy. I have the best job in the world; so it’s not hard to stay motivated through difficult times.”

For most of the season Greensmith has been partnered by Alex Gelsomino, but with the Sicilian looking to spend more time with his wife Rhianon, Greensmith had to start preparing for 2017 early, this is where Katrin Becker stepped in for Spain and Wales Rally GB.

“Adjusting to a new co-driver is always difficult, but we get along and I have no complaints. I was happy with Spain so I’m definitely looking forward to working with Katrin again in Wales.” 

Credit: Sutton Images
Credit: Sutton Images

The 2016 Wales Rally GB marks a new era for Greensmith as he makes his début in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5, a completely different beast to what he is used to driving in DDFT.

“This is the most exciting opportunity of my rallying career so far and I can’t wait to get in the car this week for a 2 day test. That should give me enough time to adjust my driving style for Wales GB.” he adds.

“My plans for 2017 are confirmed and will be announced at a later date, but for me Wales GB is just about finishing and gaining some valuable experience. 

“It’s a big step up in terms of the level these WRC2 drivers are at compared to DDFT. It’s the natural progression of rallying. I have a lot to develop and learn before I can fight for stage wins, wins, and then a full championship challenge. 

“That’s why gaining this experience is key to possible success in the future.“

2016 Wales Rally GB takes place 27 – 30 October, The Checkered Flag will be providing full coverage before, throughout and after the event, so make sure you come back regularly for the latest news.