In what was an emotional week for rallying, Gus Greensmith overcame adversities to finish sixth at Rally Croatia in the Rally2 category, last weekend.
Greensmith, 27, from Bury, entered the competition as the winner of the previous Rally in Mexico in early March and in the top five of the overall standings at the WRC2 championship.
However, the rally was stigmatised by the death of Irish driver Craig Breen while driving on a Hyundai pre-race test on April 13th. The 33-year-old went off the road and eventually succumbed to injuries caused by the crash.
Greensmith was a teammate of Breen last season, when they were both competing with the Ford-powered M-Sport team in the Rally1 category, where he formed a close relationship with the experienced driver.
Greensmith said: “I’m happy with the performance, the car’s there it’s just where I am in the standings is not where I want to be but apart from that all good.”
The Bury driver had a puncture on day one of the race, which left him trailing the leaders but had a great comeback in the latter stages, winning the Power Stage and elevating himself into sixth position, five minutes behind eventual winner Yohan Rossel.
He added: “A good comeback drive and Power Stage win caps off one of the most emotionally difficult weeks of my life,
“I tried to drive how Craig would have wanted me to with a smile on my face”
Before the event, he had also said: “(I am) Missing my friend, missing the laughs we had, chats, just generally good times, he wouldn’t have wanted us to do anything else but rally. We’ll enjoy it.”
Greensmith has been racing in the world rally circuit since 2014 and has participated in 71 rallies. He got his first chance at driving in WRC’s top category in 2019 and became a full-season driver in 2021 with M-Sport.
He achieved his maiden stage victory at the Monte Carlo Rally in January 2022. However, he could not secure a seat for 2023 so he found himself with Toksport in WRC2 behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia.