Greensmith on why he left Man City for rallying

Friday, June 10th, 2022 00:10 | By
Britain’s Gus Greensmith in action at Hell’s Gate during the 2021 WRC in Naivasha. INSET. Greensmith poses for a photo PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA
Britain’s Gus Greensmith in action at Hell’s Gate during the 2021 WRC in Naivasha. INSET. Greensmith poses for a photo PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team star Gus Greensmith gave up a potential football career with English Premier League champions Manchester City once he became hooked on rallying.

Greensmith said in a media interview: “I started as a goalkeeper and that was something I was enjoying.

“From the age of seven or eight until about 12 and then I gave up pretty quickly once I realised how much fun four wheels and an engine are.”

  “Just before I quit, I was doing trials to get into Manchester City and then I quit. That’s how much I wanted to do motorsport instead of football because I was pretty happy to quit.”  

A former junior goalkeeper for Manchester City F.C. and a karter before moving up into the ranks of rally driving,

Greensmith said that his fledgling motorsport career was put on hold when his school grades dipped.

The footballer-turned-rally driver will pilot one of the five Ford Puma Rally 1 cars for M-Sport in the forthcoming WRC Safari Rally.

Kenya’s iconic fixture is sponsored by KCB Bank Kenya, Toyota Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) among others. 

Greensmith’s teammates in the five-car M-Sport Ford lineup for the 2022 WRC Safari (23-26 June) include Sebastien Loeb (France), Craig Breen (Ireland), Adrien Fourmaux (France) and Jourdan Serderidis (Greece).

Karting championships

As a karter who went to school in Manchester, Greensmith appeared in the CIK-FIA Under 18 World Karting Championship in 2012, racing alongside the likes of Charles Leclerc, Ben Barnicoat and Joey Mawson.

In 2014, he won the British Junior Rally Championship. In 2015, he appeared at Rally GB again this time paired with Alex Gelsomino as the co-driver for Ken Block.

Greensmith has made rapid progress through the ranks since his rallying debut in 2013.  

Much of his experience has been gained behind the wheel of Ford Fiestas in various classes.

Meanwhile, pro navigator Absalom Aswani has emphatically said that in a rally cockpit, communication between the driver and co-driver is key to achieving good stage times as well as enhancing the safety of the duo.

“Anyone can mess up but it is how you react that will determine the direction of things. I’ve always owned up and been clear with my position which helps the driver to know what to do.

“I get the same from my driver Evans Kavisi. Honesty is key since both of us determine our eventuality,” he said.

Aswani said that when a rally car is going flat-out on a gravel speed test, and both the driver and navigator are trying to hear each other over the din in the engine and gearbox, a communication device quickly falls into place.

“An intercom system is a communication device that helps drivers and us navigators to flawlessly communicate, and most importantly, for the co-drivers to call the notes,” Aswani added.

“Pace notes are written descriptions of the road conditions ahead. Before the start of a rally, organisers provide a Road Book that has route instructions. The navigator will give directions to the driver and make sure they get to the right place,” he stated.

He will be co-driving Evans Kavisi in the KCB Bank sponsored Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX, reveals that all rallies are run on a strict time schedule and each section of a rally has a specific time for each car.

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