M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson secured a dramatic victory at this weekend’s Rally Turkey – fighting back from a penultimate-stage roll to claim the first WRC 2 Pro victory for the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II
Tackling the toughest event in the FIA World Rally Championship, the young Brits had their work cut out after dropping two and a half minutes with a puncture on the opening stage of Friday morning – but they persevered.
Rebounding with stage-winning pace throughout the weekend, Greensmith showcased the power and performance of M-Sport Ford’s latest global rally car. And in dramatic style through the closing kilometres, he also showcased its strength!
Running wide after the flying finish of the penultimate stage, he rolled into a ditch. Working tirelessly, he and Edmondson managed to get the Fiesta back on the road and make the necessary repairs to get to the next stage in time.
Making it through the final 7.05 kilometres at competitive speed, they not only claimed the WRC 2 Pro victory, but also secured victory in the RC2 class and climbed into the overall top-ten to take the final FIA World Rally Championship point.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Gus certainly knows how to keep us all on the edge of our seats, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen a finish as dramatic as that one! But at the end of the day, he and Elliott got the job done.
“They started on the back foot with a puncture on Friday morning, but they kept at it and didn’t give up. It was great to see the stage-winning pace of the Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II, and Gus has really proven the speed and strength of our new car this weekend – on what is easily the toughest rally on the calendar.
“Everyone has been working really hard and this victory is massively deserved for the whole team who have spent many long months, days and hours putting everything into this new car. Now, we’re all looking forward to seeing what Gus and Hayden [Paddon] can do behind the wheel in Wales – and hope for another podium finish on our home event.”
Gus Greensmith said:
“Well that has to be the most dramatic win of my career! The first two stages went as planned and we were just managing the lead, but then on the penultimate stage I got distracted – completely missed the final corner and rolled into a ditch.
“Somehow we managed to get out and back on the road, but then we had to improvise some repairs on the road section which included changing a wheel without a jack! But we did it. We made it back, made it through the Power Stage, and won – amazing!
“Everyone knows this Fiesta is built Ford-strong, but now I can also say that it’s built Gus-strong!”
ELSEWHERE IN THE SERVICE PARK
Gaurav Gill was forced to retire with a transmission issue on SS16, while ‘Pedro’ lost four-wheel-drive on SS15.
Gaurav Gill said:
“This has been one of the toughest rallies of my life. Right from the start it was difficult to get into a good rhythm because the stages were so slow and twisty with so many rocks and boulders.
“Without much experience of this car and set-up I wanted to take my time and I think that worked out well for us. But luck was not on our side and we were marred by quite a few issues.
“We failed to finish the rally this weekend, but we set some good times which is a big positive and I’ll look to build on that at the next event.”
“We started this rally with a small technical issue which caused a loss of motivation for the remainder of the event. We then made a small mistake on the first stage of Saturday which stopped us again, and used the final day as a long test to keep the confidence with the driving.
“I have to say that even though we were unlucky this weekend, the Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II is the perfect car for a rough rally like this – and the best car for a gentleman driver who wants to compete in the world’s most important rallies.”