M-Sport Ford driver Gus Greensmith says his career-best fifth place at Rally Turkey last weekend helped him turn a corner in terms of his development with the team.
The Briton completed the Marmaris-based event as the squad’s highest-placed driver after what he admitted was a tough rally.
Like team-mates Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen, there was no pre-event test on rough gravel roads, which left Greensmith struggling to find the perfect set-up for his Fiesta through the opening loop of stages.
Once he found the car’s sweet spot, he made progress which ended with his first ever top-five place on a WRC round.
“It’s nice to get to the end of the event and feel quite pleased,” he said. “The final day was just manic – I’ve never seen a stage as rough as that second time through Çetibeli. When we saw how bad it was I really felt it was better to be cautious, so we just tootled through to the finish.
“I do feel like I’ve found a way to be a bit more mistake-free and a way to focus on getting the mileage. Once I’m doing that then the confidence comes with it and then we can take things step-by-step rather than just trying to send it [attack], then make mistakes.
“Obviously it wasn’t so easy without the pre-event test. We had good pace in shakedown, but the lack of the test meant we couldn’t really transfer that pace into the rally. But the team did a really good job, it took a lot of work to improve the car through the weekend and take it from where it was to where it ended up.”
M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener added: “We’re not here to make excuses, but we know it’s difficult without the pre-event tests. Gus did a really good job, he drove a very mature rally to secure his best ever result.”