Marcus Gronholm announces one-off WRC return at Rally Sweden
The two-time world rally champion Marcus Grönholm, who contested his last full season back in 2007, announced that he will drive Toyota Yaris WRC at this year’s Rally Sweden (February 14-17), the second round of the World Rally Championship.
Gronholm will enter the rally in which he won five times in privately-entered Yaris WRC, sharing a car with his old navigator Timo Rautiainen. Together they won WRC titles in 2000 and 2002 (with Peugeot) and scored 30 WRC victories (with Peugeot and Ford). Gronholm’s last full season was in 2007 when he won five times in the #3 Ford Focus RS WRC 06 and finished second in the championship, behind Sebastien Loeb.
In 2007, Gronholm clinched his fifth win at Rally Sweden, previously winning in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006. After leaving WRC, Gronholm returned few times in one-off arrangements, first at 2009 Rally Portugal in a Subaru Impreza WRC (DNF) and then at 2010 Rally Sweden in a Ford Focus RS WRC 08, finishing 21st.
In the meantime, Gronholm’s team GRX became a regular entry in the World Rallycross Championship, running a car for his son Niclas. Marcus Gronholm planned to compete at Rally Sweden last year, celebrating his 50th birthday (February 5th), but that plan came to reality a year later. He will celebrate the 51st birthday just a week before his WRC return.
Gronholm already has some experience of driving a Toyota Yaris WRC in a demonstration event at Harju street stage during the 2017 Rally Finland. He will test a new car before the Swedish event.