Evans to miss Germany, Greensmith called up to replace him
Ongoing back injury sidelines Welshman again
Gus Greensmith will replace the injured Elfyn Evans in M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s line-up for a second event at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22 - 25 August).
The Briton stood in for Evans at last weekend’s Neste Rally Finland as the Welshman continues his recovery from the back injury sustained in a heavy landing at July’s Shell Helix Rally Estonia.
Doctors monitoring Evans’ progress advised that the asphalt encounter comes too soon.
"It’s very frustrating to be missing rallies at such a critical point in the season, but I need to ensure the injury heals properly,” explained Evans, who is fourth in the drivers’ standings.
“As tempting as it would be to ‘just get on with it,’ and come back, the reality is that I need more time so that when I do return, I’m returning at full strength with no compromises.
“I feel me and Scott (co-driver Martin) had a solid start to the season, and I’m doing everything I can to aid the process and be back as soon as possible to build on what we started during the first half of the season.”
Greensmith and co-driver Elliott Edmondson have been given the nod ahead of other contenders including Eric Camilli and Hayden Paddon.
The German fixture will mark their third outing in a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car and their first on asphalt.
They were lying ninth in Finland, one place behind team-mate Teemu Suninen, when they crashed into a tree in Sunday’s first pass through the Ruuhimäki speed test after a pace note misunderstanding.
Greensmith will share a three-day test with Suninen in Germany next week and was grateful to M-Sport Ford’s Malcolm Wilson and Rich Millener for the chance to fill Evans’ seat again.
“Like everyone else, I was hoping Elfyn would be back for this one. I feel really sorry for him, but it’s important he makes a full recovery,” he said.
“There’s no denying asphalt is my preferred surface, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do with the Ford Fiesta in Germany.
Greensmith impressed in a Fiesta R5 on asphalt at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January
“It’s an event where I have a lot of experience and Elfyn has already proven how competitive the car is on this surface. I also won my last rally on Tarmac and think I’ll be able to get a lot closer to the top guys.”
Team principal Millener said it was hoped Evans would be fit for Rally Turkey (12 - 15 September).
“Elfyn is understandably frustrated not to be back in Germany, especially at such a critical point in the season. We all know what he would have been capable of here, but his health is the most important factor and we need to ensure he is fully recovered and 100 per cent fit before getting back behind the wheel.
“Gus made a positive debut with the top-specification Fiesta on gravel, and we were keen to give him the same opportunity on asphalt. We’ve been working with him for a number of years now, and I know he and Elliott will make the most of the experience.
“They impressed everyone at Rallye Monte-Carlo earlier this year and I think we could see some great progress from them on this surface,” he added.
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