Driving a Ford Fiesta, Gronholm took a clean sweep of victories at the Irwindale Speedway near Los Angeles, edging out team-mate Tanner Foust in the six-car A Main Finale.
“It was a nice weekend for me and for the team as well,” said Gronholm, the world rally champion in 2000 and 2002. “I am happy and my Ford Fiesta worked very well in the final. It was easy to drive and I was quite confident. When I took the start I was quite confident that if I kept my line I could hold the lead and [Foust] couldn’t pass me. I had a lot of fun but whether I race anymore GRC events we will have to see.”
Foust added: “What a final. I know I am not the first one to say ‘I just couldn’t catch Marcus Gronholm’. He like just disappeared and by the first corner his Fiesta was just a little bit out of reach and even though I had the fastest splits on the Joker lap I fell behind. I was impressed with the first weekend of the GRC.”
Now 43, Gronholm retired from the WRC at the end of 2007 after spending two seasons with the factory Ford team. Since then he has made two appearances in the series, in Portugal in 2009 and Sweden the following year.