Double world champion Marcus Gronholm will return to competition this weekend at the Swedish round of the European Rallycross Championship.
Gronholm hasn’t driven in anger since retiring from the World Rally Championship at the end of last season. Since Rally Great Britain last December, Gronholm has taken on a new role as an ambassador for Ford and a driver coach to up-and-coming Norwegian youngster Andreas Mikkelsen. Now, though, it’s time for ‘Bosse’ to dust off his overalls again.
He remains with Ford for his switch from stage to track, a first for the 40-year-old, but the Ford Team RS Europe Fiesta ST ERC he drives in Sweden this week will have twice as much power as the Focus RS WRC 07 he has been used to.
“I have been impressed with the Fiesta in my tests,” said Gronholm, “particularly the engine. But I don’t know too much about what to say about the car, because I don’t know too much about the rallyross. I would like a little more feeling from the steering, and my arm is banging against the door a little bit - I have long arms. I’m sure we can do something about these things. I will learn, it’s going to be really exciting, but I am also a little nervous.”
“This is a different kind of rallysport, so it’s not a comeback for rallying. Of course I want to compete because I’ve done it for the past 20 years. Three rounds in European Rallycross series is good for me, but the series, and competitors, are very tough. If you want success, you have to push way over the maximum to keep up with the guys and their fancy cars. Of course I want to win but it might not be possible this time, as I’m just experiencing new levels of rallysport. My only goal is to have fun.”