Gus Greensmith will compete with M-Sport Ford in a full FIA World Rally Championship program this season, with Teemu Suninen and Adrien Fourmaux sharing the team’s second car throughout the season.
Greensmith, who has entered several top-class events in one of the team’s Fiesta WRCs in recent seasons, will make the step up full time this year and will be joined by regular teammate Suninen but only on selected events.
The British driver has competed with the Cumbrian team for several years, including in WRC2, with 2021 set to be his first full season in the sports top level.
“I’m really proud to represent M-Sport Ford, and incredibly grateful for the opportunity of a full season in the FIA World Rally Championship,” said the delighted Greensmith.
“This has been my dream since I was a boy, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.
“Last year gave us a taster of what to expect, and now we’re ready to throw everything into this season and really focus on progressing throughout year – not only in terms of my driving, but in terms of everything that goes into making a successful career in the FIA World Rally Championship.”
Suninen meanwhile competed with the team full time in both 2019 and 2020, but will scale back his number of rallies this season to concentrate on the events where he believes he can challenge for a top result.
The Finn will also be joined by a new yet to be confirmed co-driver as regular partner Jarmo Lehtinen has decided to step down ahead of 2021.
“It’s great to be back in the Fiesta WRC this year,” he added.
“We all know how difficult times are at the moment, and I want to thank the team for their continued support and opportunity to show what I can do this year. We’ll have to wait and see how many rallies I can do, but I will work hard to do my best and deliver good results at every event.
“It’s a shame not to have Jarmo with me again this year, but we knew that this partnership would have to come to an end at some point. I learnt so much from him over the past 18 months, and straight away we secured a fantastic result together – my career-best second place in Sardinia in 2019. I want to thank Jarmo for everything and wish him the best of luck in his new adventure. I am glad that he will still have a place in the sport he loves – just on the other side of the table now!”
Sharing the second Fiesta will be Frenchman Fourmaux, who will step up to the top-class for the first time. He’ll also compete in a full WRC2 season in a Rally2 spec Fiesta, beginning with Rallye Monte Carlo later this month.
Fourmaux was one of the most noticeable drivers in the second half of the 2020 rallying season and was regularly battling at the front of both the WRC2 and FIA European Rally Championship fields.
“It’s a new season with a new goal, but one with another fantastic opportunity for me,” commented Fourmaux ahead of his first WRC outings.
“I want to thank Malcolm (Wilson), Rich (Millener) and the whole team for the opportunity and intend to make the most of all the experience I’m set to gain this year.
“I’m looking forward to pushing for the top results in the WRC 2 category. We got really close to victory quite a few times last year, and believe we have everything we need to succeed this season. And of course I’m looking forward to some outings with the world rally car – to experience competition at this level and better understand every element that goes into reaching the very top of the sport.”
Team Princiapl Millener was also pleased with the team’s lineup for 2021, although did admit that the team has struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“M-Sport has a long history of supporting young drivers – it’s something that remains very close to Malcolm’s heart, and we remain committed to Teemu, Gus and Adrien as they continue their development in 2021,” said Millener.
“All three have a lot of talent, and we’ve devised programmes to bring out the best in each driver whilst enabling further progression at the various stages of their careers.
“Gus delivered some impressive split and stage times last year, and it’s now time for him to develop those skills further. We’re delighted to offer him his first full season with the top-specification Fiesta, and want to see him and Elliott take maximum experience from a full rally and test programme – learning not only the rallies, but the intricacies of set-up, engineering and everything that goes into becoming a world-class driver. I know they’re already putting the work in to ensure they make the most of this opportunity, and I’m really keen to see how they develop over the course of the year.
“We all know that Teemu has the speed – it’s something we saw on his very first outing with the Ford Fiesta WRC and we felt it important to find a way for him to continue with us this year. We’ve managed to create a partial WRC programme for him, and will target specific events where he and the Fiesta can be competitive. It’s a shame to have lost Jarmo, but Teemu learnt a lot from the short time they spent together and I’m sure he’ll put that to good use this year.“
He added: “Adrien also really impressed us last year, and we’re delighted to offer him another full WRC 2 programme with the Ford Fiesta Rally2 as well as some further outings with the Fiesta WRC. We want to ensure he gets to experience as many rallies as possible – continuing to showcase the performance of the Fiesta Rally2 but also starting to pit himself against the world’s best.
“We will continue to work hard to see if we can increase Teemu’s programme and bring additional top-level drivers into the squad, but we also have to be honest and say that the Covid situation has made things extremely difficult for us. That said, we hope there is light at the end of the tunnel and I know that every single member of the team will continue to give their best as we push for the best possible results in 2021.”
The first round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship will take place on Rallye Monte Carlo later this month between January 21-24.