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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Gus finishes strongly in Belgium

Date: Thursday 19 August 2021

The first appearance of Belgium’s Ypres Rally on the World Rally Championship calendar saw the NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford World Rally Team stars Gus Greensmith and co-driver Chris Patterson reach the finish line in their Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta after showing some promising speed on the concluding day of the event.

After two days spent in the undulating farmland around Flanders, the rally moved almost 300km south to the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit where the crews had to tackle the celebrated flat-out challenge of the Eau Rouge/Raidillon curves, a gravel section and the local roads around the home of the Belgian Grand Prix in blazing sunshine.

Driving the WRC Fiesta, which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors, Greensmith acquitted himself admirably, setting fifth fastest time through the first stage of the day and then settled in to ensure that he maintained his position as the seventh WRC car home at the end of the rally.

M-Sport Team Principal Richard Millener said:

“Gus did everything that was asked of him today, and we were delighted to see that opening stage time of the day to illustrate the true pace of the Fiesta and the level of experience and confidence that he has been able to accumulate in his first appearance on the rally.
“As a team, it is difficult to feel overjoyed when only one car crossed the finish line after you started four cars across the two principal categories taking part this weekend. But Ypres really is impossible to describe to those who have not yet competed on the event and it really is a case of learning each corner of each mile covered.”

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said:

“It was a very tough event for the M-Sport Ford WRC team, but Gus put in a great performance and will have gained invaluable experience which will hold him in good stead for the future.”

The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team now prepares to move from the smooth asphalt of the Belgian event to the roughest and toughest gravel event in Europe, Greece’s historic Acropolis Rally, which will be held on September 9-12. This is an event in which Ford has claimed 17 victories dating back to 1966, the most recent of which coming as a round of the European Rally Championship in 2017, when an M-Sport built Ford Fiesta R5 triumphed.

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