The team had the pace to challenge for the top results at the weekend with Teemu Suninen the fastest driver before he was caught out by a particularly slippery section of tarmac when his Fiesta, which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors, was flung into a bank and out of the rally.
Coming off the back of a confidence-building test, Greensmith was hoping to use that speed to his advantage, but come the rally it didn’t translate, and the young Brit struggled to find a comfortable rhythm behind the wheel but still achieved the fifth fastest time, some positive splits and a haul of points on the first event of the year.
Elsewhere in the WRC 2 category, Adrien Fourmaux and Renaud Jamoul showcased the pace and performance of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta Rally2 – second only to experienced rally-winner Andreas Mikkelsen.
Team Principal Richard Millener said: “We had the potential to challenge for a good result this weekend, and it was great to see that pace from Teemu on the opening stage. Even without all the upgrades, we can still be as competitive as our rivals in the right conditions – it’s just a shame it didn’t last longer than it did, especially after all the hard work it took to get here.
“Gus had a really good test and was looking forward to the rally, but for some reason it just didn’t click for him. He’s extremely self-critical and I know he’ll have taken the disappointment to heart. And let’s not forgot how difficult this rally is. Confidence is everything, and if you’re missing that it’s going to show. But he made it through – he got the mileage and we’ll work with him to unlock that confidence on the next rallies.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was an exciting start to the season. Monte-Carlo is always full of drama and the team showed a lot of promise which hopefully bodes well for a successful 2021 season.”
About NGK SPARK PLUG:
Worldwide: NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment customers across the globe. For the Aftermarket, its product portfolio comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics the company offers oxygen sensors (including NOx sensors), exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS), mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute/boost pressure (MAP) sensors as well as engine speed and position sensors. With around 16,000 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.5 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales (including its EU, UK, France and Eurasia subsidiaries) represent 26.1% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants and four Technical Centres.
Aftermarket EMEA: NGK SPARK PLUG has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK SPARK PLUG’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region the company has ten group companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.
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