NGK backed Rally Team record strong finishes at the EKO Acropolis Rally
The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – whose cars are equipped with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors – recorded four strong finishes at the end of the Acropolis Rally, finishing the World Rally Championship’s Greek event in the top five overall and with a podium finish in the WRC2 category.
In the senior team, rising stars Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith were set to continue an enjoyable battle for fifth place in their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs but sadly misfortune struck Fourmaux and Belgian co-driver Renaud Jamoul when an engine issue needed resolving before the opening timed stage of the day, costing him a time penalty as he fixed the problem but arrived late to the time control.
This drama allowed Greensmith and his Northern Irish co-driver Chris Patterson through into a strong fifth place overall, the pair delivering a faultless day’s running to reach the finish in the team’s second-best result of the year.
Fourmaux’s recovery drive saw him lodge the second fastest time overall on the penultimate stage as he was locked in a battle with last year’s vice-champion Elfyn Evans for sixth place. Sadly, Fourmaux made a small mistake on the closing Power Stage that allowed Evans through and saw the French youngster come home in seventh place.
Local hero Jourdan Serderidis, guest star on the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in a third Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC, also had another successful day’s running. Serderidis and experienced Belgian co-driver Frederic Miclotte completed the top 10 WRC runners and deservedly won acclaim from the Greek fans lining the route of the event.
In the WRC2 category, the Russian pairing of Nikolay Gryazin and his co-driver Konstantin Aleksandrov completed a thoroughly successful debut with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team. The pair finished on the podium in third place for the class, having gained valuable experience of the car from which to continue their campaign through the rest of the season.
Gus Greensmith said: “The team have lived-up to the form that we have shown on rougher rallies this year and, although probably I could have hoped for more in terms of my finishing position, a top-five finish is a good thing for sure. I gave it everything I could.”
Adrien Fourmaux said: “A mixed day for us really, after picking up penalties for being late this morning because of an engine issue. We were able to set second-fastest time on one stage, but that early problem allowed Gus to pull ahead of us and I was left to fight to hold my position.
“On the Power Stage, we made a mistake, unfortunately I spun and had to reverse but I tried, I had a big push, but unfortunately we ended the rally in seventh place. It has been an amazing event to experience and I’m delighted for the team that we have shown our pace and got the cars home, I just am sorry to them not to be higher at the end.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “There were highly commendable performances by the M-Sport Ford competitors who always fight hard, whatever the event and whatever the conditions.”
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