M-Sport has promoted Gus Greensmith to a full-time seat in the World Rally Championship. Teemu Suninen and Adrien Fourmaux will share the Cumbrian team’s second car.
It will be Greensmith’s first full WRC campaign as he effectively replaces Esapekka Lappi who sits out the 2021 season.
In its press release, M-Sport hinted at an intent to champion young talent with the ambition of a successful WRC future.
“M-Sport has a long history of supporting young drivers,” said Team Principal Richard Millener. “It’s something that remains very close to Malcolm’s heart, and we remain committed to Teemu, Gus and Adrien as they continue their development in 2021.
“All three have a lot of talent, and we’ve devised programmes to bring out the best in each driver whilst enabling further progression at the various stages of their careers.”
Fourmaux is to complete a full WRC 2 programme with M-Sport along with select outings in the Ford Fiesta WRC. It has been a quick rise to the top for the 25-year-old who was competing in a National specification Ford Fiesta R2T just three years ago.
Meanwhile, 2021 will be Suninen’s fifth season with M-Sport. Although the Finnish driver loses his full-time status, giving up his seat for Fourmaux’s WRC rounds.
Suninen is also without his usual co-driver, Jarmo Lehtinen, for the new season. Lehtinen’s replacement hasn’t been confirmed.
Millener hinted at the obvious financial effects of Covid-19 but was hopeful of increasing Suninen’s current programme.
“We will continue to work hard to see if we can increase Teemu’s programme and bring additional top-level drivers into the squad. But we also have to be honest and say that the Covid situation has made things extremely difficult for us.
“That said, we hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know that every single member of the team will continue to give their best as we push for the best possible results in 2021.”
While Lappi and Suninen have suffered from M-Sport’s altered line-up it is great news for Greensmith and Elliot Edmondson. The British pair will aim to use their experience from part-time WRC drives with M-Sport over the past two years.
“This has been my dream since I was a boy,” said Greensmith, “and I’m really looking forward to getting started.
“Last year gave us a taster of what to expect. Now we’re ready to throw everything into this season and really focus on progressing throughout the year. Not only in terms of my driving, but in terms of everything that goes into making a successful career in the World Rally Championship.”
The revamped M-Sport squad will make its debut on Rally Monte-Carlo in two weeks’ time. Suninen and Greensmith kick-off their WRC campaigns on the classic season-opener. Fourmaux starts his WRC 2 assault in Monte-Carlo alongside Belgian co-driver Renaud Jamoul.
Photo courtesy of M-Sport World Rally Team