Thursday | 14 Feb 2019

Gronholm aims top 10 on Sweden return

Two-time champion Marcus Grönholm hopes to steer his Toyota Yaris to a top 10 finish when he makes his WRC comeback at Rally Sweden this weekend.

The Finn, 51, is the joint-most successful driver in the history of Sweden’s WRC round, and has chosen the event to make a one-off return nine years after his last championship rally.

And while Grönholm's appearance this time is mainly for fun - a belated 50th birthday present to himself - he still wants to be quick.

"It's nice to be back and before the event it's easy to say I'd be happy just driving around. But of course I won't be happy if the speed is far away," Grönholm told

"It's interesting to drive a top car one more time, but also quite difficult I think. What is possible finish-wise, I don't know. But let's start with top 10. If we do better, that's fine."

Grönholm will go head-to-head with former arch rival Sébastien Loeb at Thursday's super special in Karlstad, but he played down the chances of beating the nine-time champ.

Grönholm said: "We cannot compare with Sébastien. He has been driving all the time something, rally or rallycross. I have not been doing any competition. My last WRC rally was nine years ago, so the fight can be a bit difficult."

Despite stepping back from competition, Grönholm is no stranger to the latest generation World Rally Cars. He tested Volkswagen's stillborn new-era Polo for 24 days before the project was pulled in late 2016, and last month he tested the Yaris on snow for 300km. 

Grönholm can also count on his co-driving partnership with Timo Rautiainen, who last called notes for him in 2010.

"On the recce it was like we had never been away - bang, it was there immediately. Okay, my notes might not be perfect because I made them a little on the safe side, but the work between us is perfect," he said.


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