Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube
Latest Issue
Issue #17 Issue 17 - Click Here
Issue 17
On Sale Now!
Join our mailing list

Featured Video
X Games 2012 Rallycross final

Tarmac Reader Offer
Targa DVDs from $19.95

Back Issues
Back Issues - Click Here
Back Issues
Click Here
Marcus Gronholm to drive 'Ken Block's' Fiesta
Posted : 16/03/2011
Rate this article :

Two-time World Rally champion Marcus Grönholm on Monday announced that he will race a Ford Fiesta in the first round of the Global RallyCross Championship, scheduled to take place at Irwindale Speedway near Los Angeles on March 25-26.

Grönholm won the WRC title in 2000 and 2002 while driving for Peugeot. During his career, the Finish driver claimed 30 rally wins, 60 podiums and 540 stage wins. He retired after the 2007 season but returned for a short period in 2009 and 2010.

“Rallycross is good fun, with a lot of cars running at the same time,” said Gronholm. “It's quite different from rally but it's excellent to come to the USA and it feels nice to be involved again with the [Ford-based] team.”

In RallyCross, as many as six cars compete simultaneously on a closed course. In contrasts, WRC competitors drive alone through various stages. This means that the strategy for RallyCross is completely different than that of a traditional rally competition.

“The start is very important, so you can't do too much if you miss the start and you're behind everybody,” said Grönholm. “Rally you are alone on the stage and you can catch up on time. In RallyCross, you don't have time and you have to be good from the start.”

Another aspect of RallyCross is the fender-to-fender racing. It is common for drivers to bump and push one another, and Grönholm said he is more than willing to throw his weight around if needed.

“It will be nice. But OK, we have to follow the rules and not push too much,” he laughed. “You can touch a little bit but not too much. I'm looking forward to come and drive again like this.”

The event at Irwindale, called Revolution, will not be Grönholm's first RallyCross event. The Finn has previous experience competing in three such competitions in Europe.

“Maybe I was lucky but I won my first ever [RallyCross] race in Sweden,” he said. “But then I had two other races were I was not very good. In fact I was on the roof in one of them.”

Grönholm will get behind the wheel of a 600hp Ford Fiesta at Irwindale; that is close to twice as much horsepower as the WRC cars that he drove during his career.

“The cars are a bit different. Here there is more power in the cars, much more,” Grönholm said. “Also, the cars are not so easy to drive. A WRC car is much easier to drive.”

The Finn has not driven a Fiesta since he competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2010. He will have his first opportunity to drive his Best Buy-sponsored car during a test a few days before he takes to the course at Irwindale, which will consist of both tarmac and dirt. It will also include a 70-foot-gap jump.

“I've never jumped over an open gap. I'm a little bit nervous but I hope everything will go OK,” he said. “I don't know what will happen when we are in the traffic trying to take the jump.”

Grönholm will compete against three-time X Games gold medalist Tanner Foust, five-time British Rally champion Marcus Dodd, Dave Mirra and Rhys Millen.

“Tanner Foust will be quite quick. He is quite fast,” said Grönholm when asked who he thought is biggest competition would be.

The three-round championship will visit Irwindale, then Seattle on April 15-16 and Pike's Peak International Raceway on June 17-18

Source: Autoweek

Back to top
 - Click to enlarge
 - Click to enlarge
Related Videos

Related News
WRC champ to race new Olsberg Fiesta in LA more

IS F looking for class win. more

Finally, a Pikes Peak video that's Climb Dance-worthy more

...And the videos of Rhys Millen testing it for Pikes Peak hit the web. more

Millen's latest mutant, the 500kW RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580, is confirmed for Pike's Peak. more

Last chance to get your subs in more

Related Magazines
Click here to view contents and buy online. more

Ken Block antimall animated GIF
User Poll
Pick your cover for Tarmac 17
Ford Focus ST v Sierra Cosworth
Toyota 86 v Veloster Turbo