M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson will return to the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 as they make their Rally Italia Sardegna debut next week. Fresh from their excursion with the top-specification Fiesta in Portugal, the pairing are back in the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support series and keen to secure a good result against strong competition in the WRC 2 Pro category.
Team mate Lukasz Pieniazek has unfortunately had to withdraw from the event. The Polish driver showed good speed on a number of stages this year, but has been forced to put his season on hold as he searches for the budget to continue his programme. The door remains open and M-Sport hope to continue their co-operation with Pieniazek later in the year and to see him behind the wheel of the all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5.
Gus Greensmith said:
“I’m still quite shocked about how much I learnt from driving the world rally car in Portugal, and I hope that will help me next week when I take to the wheel of the current Ford Fiesta R5 one last time!
“This will be my first time in Sardinia, but I’ve always tended to do quite well on events with technical stages. It will be rough, and conservation will play a part for sure, but from what I’ve seen I think this is a rally that will suit me and the Fiesta.
“This car has been a phenomenon in the world of rallying. It’s achieved so much over the past six years, and I plan to give the old girl a good send off before getting my hands on the all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 after the summer break in Finland.”
Lukasz Pieniazek said:
“I'm hoping that Rally de Portugal won't be our last WRC event this year but unfortunately we'll have to miss the upcoming Rally Sardinia. Thanks to my long-time partners I was able to join a factory team for this year for which I'm incredibly grateful. Unfortunately at the moment our budget isn't allowing us to continue with our WRC programme.
“We'll keep working on securing backing which would allow us to continue the season and our co‑operation with M-Sport. The team understands our situation and is very supportive while still hoping to have us back in WRC 2 Pro – for which I'm very thankful. I hope that we'll be able to find partners who will allow us to return to the FIA World Rally Championship. Especially as the new Fiesta R5 has huge potential and I would love to try it in action.”