Known as the roughest event in the FIA World Rally Championship, the Turkish fixture demands a unique blend of speed and caution – and that’s something Greensmith mastered in his Ford Fiesta WRC, which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors.
Third fastest through the first run of Shakedown, the Brit had already hinted at what he might be capable of this weekend. And as others faltered, he gave the stages the respect they demand to bring home a strong top-five finish.
New to the team this year, it took some kilometres for Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferme to get to grips with the top-specification Fiesta on rough terrain. Discovering the optimum setup, the pairing got quicker as the weekend wore on and set some positive splits through today’s closing kilometres.
On par with the leaders through both passes of Çetibeli (SS9 / SS11), the Finn was on course for another good result – only to pick up a puncture through both stages. A damaged damper then prevented the Finns from mounting a challenge through the Power Stage, and they ended the event in sixth place overall.
Having delivered a solid performance throughout the weekend, Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen had their sights on another top finish this weekend – and as the final-day drama unfolded a second podium of the year was a real possibility.
Unfortunately, the young Finn would also suffer at the hands of the Çetibeli stage (SS9). Despite having the better of his rival, Suninen suffered a broken rear-left damper which forced him into an underserved retirement.
Gus Greensmith said: “I’m pretty pleased at the end of this one and happy with how our weekend panned out. That long stage today was so rough, and considering where we were, I decided that caution was the better act of valour. That turned out to be the right decision – it worked out, and we come away from this weekend with our best ever result.
“I was hoping that we would be able to transfer our Shakedown pace to the rally, but without a pre-event test that proved difficult and we still made a lot of improvements over the course of the weekend – so a big thanks to the team for that. And I think I’ve also made an improvement inside the car. Whereas I might have just sent it once upon a time, I’m now focused on being mistake-free and getting the mileage under my belt – and the confidence will come with that.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “Gus has confirmed his potential with a fantastic performance at this gruelling rally which is a real test of both team members and their cars.”
Notes to Editors
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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