Gus Greensmith overc*mes s**kness to lead WRC2 in Safari Rally Kenya

Friday, March 29th, 2024 19:06 | By
Gus Greensmith in action during the WRC 2. PHOTO/Gus Greensmith
Gus Greensmith in action during the WRC 2 Safari Rally. PHOTO/Gus Greensmith

British rally driver Gus Greensmith demonstrated resilience in the WRC2 category during the Safari Rally Kenya, despite grappling with flu-like symptoms throughout Friday's stages.

Amidst battling his health, Greensmith embarked on his 2024 campaign at the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship with determination.

Gus Greensmith in Safari Rally

Despite his physical discomfort, the British driver managed to establish a commanding lead in the WRC2 class.

Gus Greensmith in races during the WRC 2.  PHOTO/Gus Greensmith
Gus Greensmith in races during the WRC 2 Safari Rally. PHOTO/Gus Greensmith

Initially facing a close challenge from Oliver Solberg, who piloted a similar Toksport Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, Greensmith's fortunes took a positive turn when Solberg encountered a wheel change issue in SS3. This setback allowed Greensmith to extend his lead comfortably.

With Solberg's troubles and no significant threats from other competitors, Greensmith adopted a more cautious approach, carefully managing his risks on the demanding African stages. By the day's end, he held a substantial lead of 3 minutes and 23 seconds over second-placed Kajetan Kajetanicz.

Reflecting on the grueling afternoon, Greensmith expressed his exhaustion, underscoring the urgent need for rest after enduring what he described as the toughest day of his rallying career.

In the WRC2 category, Kajetan Kajetanicz secured second place despite facing power loss issues caused by sand entering his Škoda's air intake. Safari Rally debutant Nicolas Ciamin claimed fourth place in his Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

Meanwhile, in the main Championship, Kalle Rovanperä delivered a dominant performance during the opening leg of the Safari Rally Kenya, establishing a significant lead of 56.9 seconds for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Rovanperä, a two-time FIA World Rally Championship winner, along with co-driver Jonne Halttunen, set the pace by securing the fastest times on all six of Friday's challenging gravel stages around Lake Naivasha.

Toyota impress in Safari Rally

Rovanperä's Toyota teammates Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta completed the podium, capitalizing on a challenging afternoon for Hyundai Motorsport, whose drivers Esapekka Lappi and Ott Tänak retired due to transmission and steering issues, respectively.

Gus Greensmith during a shakedown Safari Rally WRC2.  PHOTO/Gus Greensmith
Gus Greensmith during a shakedown WRC2 Safari Rally. PHOTO/Gus Greensmith

Despite the demanding conditions and stiff competition, Toyota celebrated a podium sweep with Evans and Katsuta finishing second and third, separated by just 3.9 seconds after Evans made a decisive move in the final stage of the day.

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