Greensmith working with Rally Ypres expert ahead of WRC round

Gus Greensmith has teamed up with Rally Ypres master Patrick Snijers to help him conquer Belgium’s challenging asphalt event as it makes its World Rally Championship debut this weekend.

Greensmith working with Rally Ypres expert ahead of WRC round

The M-Sport Ford driver enlisted the services of the four-time Ypres winner and seven-time Belgian rally champion in the build up to the rally, which is a brand new event for Greensmith and many of the WRC field.

The connection with Snijers, who won the Ypres event every year between 1991 and 1994, came via the Belgian wife of Greensmith’s co-driver Chris Patterson.

Snijers has been assisting Greensmith with advice while the pair will analyse onboard videos together over the course of the rally to help the Brit maximise his first attempt at Ypres.

The rally has been won four times previously by British drivers - Tony Pond in 1978 and 1980, Jimmy McRae in 1987 and Kris Meeke in 2009.

“I’ve been working with Patrick and using his experience, so he is going to be helping me with the videos and give me some of the local knowledge,” said Greensmith.

“I think getting as much advice and experience this weekend could pay dividends.

“We had a good test and probably one of the most productive tests I’ve ever had, by just how much I got to learn with how narrow the stages are and how little room for error there is.

“The grip changes a lot and there are some places you can identify it and then there are places where it looks the same.”

Gus Greensmith, Chris Patterson, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC

Gus Greensmith, Chris Patterson, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC

Photo by: M-Sport

After scoring a career-best fourth in June’s Safari Rally, Greensmith was forced to retire from last month’s Rally Estonia on the Friday due to an engine issue as mechanical problems hit both M-Sport Ford Fiestas.

However, after a positive pre-event test during which the team further developed its suspension components, team principal Richard Millener is confident his squad should have a clean bill of health in Belgium.

“The guys did another test with Reiger [M-Sport’s suspension supplier] on the pre-event test, which I believe was a good step forward,” said Millener.

“The roads were relevant and we have got to learn the Pirelli tyre, so I think it was a positive test and I think that is more of an advantage, or something that can put us in the right place, than any technical changes on the car.

“We just did some development on existing ones and we made a further step. It is normal procedure, but having not been here before we have taken the opportunity to work with them to see if we can get a little bit more performance. Both drivers seem happy with that which is a positive.

“We think that we have got to the bottom of most of [the issues from Estonia]. Some of it was the characteristics of that rally as well, which is quite different to here.

“You can’t say 100% that nothing will go wrong on any car, but we feel from the testing we have done over the last three or four days we haven’t had any issues, so we hope we will have a good reliable rally.”

Rally Ypres will begin on Friday, with the opening stage scheduled to start at 13:36 CET.

shares
comments

Related video

Local knowledge should give Neuville “upper hand” on Rally Ypres

Previous article

Local knowledge should give Neuville “upper hand” on Rally Ypres

Next article

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree
Load comments
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021