Marcus Grönholm: Wikis

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Marcus Grönholm
Marcus Grönholm.jpg
Grönholm at the 2006 Rally Argentina press conference.
World Rally Championship record
Nationality Finland Finnish
Active years 19892007, 2009
Teams Toyota, Peugeot, Ford
Rallies 150
Championships 2 (2000, 2002)
Rally wins 30
Podium finishes 60
Stage wins 540
Total points 615
First rally 1989 1000 Lakes Rally
First win 2000 Swedish Rally
Last win 2007 Rally New Zealand
Last rally 2009 Rally de Portugal

Marcus "Bosse" Grönholm (born February 5, 1968 in Kauniainen) is a former Finnish rally driver. Driving for Peugeot, he won the World Rally Championship in 2000 and 2002. After Peugeot withdrew from the World Rally Championship, Grönholm moved to Ford for the 2006 season and placed second in the drivers' world championship, losing the title to Sébastien Loeb by one point. The next year he again placed second, four points behind Loeb. He and his co-driver Timo Rautiainen retired from rallying after the 2007 season but returned to the championship in 2009 driving a private Subaru for a short period of time.

Grönholm also won the 2002 Race of Champions, taking home the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy and earning the title "Champion of Champions". At the 2006 Race of Champions, he formed team Finland with Heikki Kovalainen and the pair won the Nations' Cup.

Contents

Career

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Early career

Marcus' father, Ulf "Uffe" Grönholm, had been an active rally driver in the late 1970s to early 1980s, and with measurable success too, winding up twice Finnish champion. He was killed during a practice run for Hankiralli on February 25, 1981 in Kirkkonummi. Despite this connection, his son, only 13 years old at the time of his father's death, was latterly to refute any suggestion that it was Ulf, and not fellow rally-driving cousin (and occasional Peugeot factory squad team-mate at various points during the early 2000s), Sebastian Lindholm, who tempted him into following in his father's footsteps by also participating in the sport.[1] In his teens Grönholm was fond of motocross as a recreational activity, but a serious knee injury forced a switch to boxing.

Grönholm featured in various bit-part roles in the world series throughout the 1990s, most notably with Toyota with whom he drove Celicas and Corolla WRCs. Much considered as a late-bloomer he didn't become a 'factory driver' until his early 30s. A staggering string of fastest stage times one year as a privateer, on the final day of the Rally Finland, subsequently brought him to the attention of such factory teams as Ford, Toyota and Peugeot, who all presented him with offers for further employment. It was only when he joined the latter marque, championship newcomers for 1999, that he began to enjoy such meteoric success.

1999-2005: Peugeot

Grönholm at the 2001 Rally Finland.

After suffering an engine failure on the season-opening round in Monte Carlo in 2000, he took his first championship win on the Swedish Rally the following month, with the 206 WRC. Consequent wins, including on his home round of the series, were sufficient to see off closest points challenger, Subaru's Richard Burns and land a shock first title after finishing second to the Englishman in the Rally of Great Britain. After an irksome and unsuccessful championship defence in 2001 during which assorted mechanical problems kept him down to 4th overall in the points table, he easily won his second title in 2002, at times displaying Michael Schumacher-esque dominance of the sport.

Grönholm with a Peugeot 307 WRC at the 2004 Monte Carlo Rally.

Grönholm initially seemed to be carrying on from where he left off in the opening rounds of 2003: He led the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, threatening to score a shock win over the armada of Citroens until his Peugeot team's customary misfortune struck, as well as securing astounding early-season victories in New Zealand and Argentina - the latter a stirring comeback drive from sixth to deny a time-penalised Carlos Sainz. But he failed to cobble together a sufficiently consistent points-scoring run to truly have a hope in retaining his title. With the subsequent introduction of the bulkier Peugeot 307 WRC by the team's parent marque for 2004, he was to score only three more rally wins over the following two seasons. Two of those came in Finland; the remainder, an emotional inherited victory in Japan after the retirement of long-time leader Petter Solberg's Subaru, to follow on from the tragic Wales Rally GB just a week beforehand, where the sport had witnessed Peugeot team-mate Markko Martin's navigator Michael Park's death in a crash. With the PSA Group representative teams jointly withdrawing from the championship for 2006, Grönholm was left to search for employment elsewhere.

2006-2007: Ford

Grönholm at the 2006 Cyprus Rally.

For the 2006 season, Grönholm switched to the Ford team, driving their all-new 2006-specification Focus WRC. On his debut, in January, he won his first ever tarmac rally in Monte Carlo, beating Sébastien Loeb by over a minute, albeit beaten by the Frenchman on the road with the championship's unliked 'Superally' regulations coming to his rescue as a shunt for the Citroën hastened its exit from Leg One. Although he was to follow this up with an entirely credible win in the second event of the season, Sweden, subsequent events saw Loeb surge past into a comfortable lead: the Frenchman was to never finish below second place in every event he entered, while his adversary was left to rue a string of retirements and errors that stymied his challenge.

Grönholm at the 2006 Telstra Rally Australia.

In the meantime, the hopeful Finn collected victories over Loeb in Greece and Finland. Loeb's hopes seemed to be coming to fruituition when yet another victory in Cyprus brought him to the brink of the title; however he was to suffer his own blow days later when injury from a biking accident forced him out of the last four rounds of the series. Marcus was able to push within one point of the lead in the total standings as Loeb recovered, but his claim to the title was finally extinguished when he rolled out of contention on the first leg of the penultimate event in Australia. Some solace for Gronholm, though, came in that another victory in New Zealand ahead of team-mate Mikko Hirvonen was to confirm the manufacturers' title for his Ford team over Loeb-less Kronos Citroen.

Marcus Grönholm at the "Circus Maximus" SSS of 2007 Rallye Deutschland.

The 2007 season started in good fashion for Grönholm. He claimed third place in the 75ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo behind the dominant returning works Citroens, and then the top spot in the Swedish Rally, mirroring the previous year's result. While the usually consummate Loeb tumbled out of the points from a potentially auspicious position in both Norway and Sardinia, Grönholm remained consistent and after winning for the 28th time in his career over the Citroen titan in Greece, led the championship by nine points over Loeb over the championship's summer break. At the 2007 Rally Finland, Ford secured a one-two with Grönholm taking the win and Hirvonen the second place ahead of Loeb. At the next rally, the 2007 Rallye Deutschland, Grönholm got distracted by a cow along the road and made a driving error while trying to secure a second place ahead of hard-charging François Duval, dropping him to fourth place behind his team-mate.

Grönholm in his last rally at the 2007 Wales Rally GB.

Then came New Zealand, where after a tight battle over all three legs, Grönholm took a victory of historic slenderness over Loeb. The final winning margin between the two represented the closest ever in the history of the World Rally Championship: 0.3 seconds. This victory put him ten points clear in the championship with five rounds remaining. Podium finishes in Spain and France kept him on track for the championship, but after crashing out early at both Japan and Ireland the championship lead switched back to Loeb. Second place at Wales Rally GB was not enough to dislodge Loeb and so Grönholm finished the season as runner-up.

On 14 September 2007, Grönholm announced long-rumoured plans to retire from rallying at the end of the 2007 season, stating that "I wanted to stop while I still had the speed to win rallies. I didn't want to leave the decision too late so that I wasn't capable of winning any longer",[2] also citing the opportunity ahead of him to potentially retire as a three-time World Rally Champion.

Later career

Rallycross: The 560 bhp Ford Fiesta ST ERCs of Marcus Grönholm and Andreas Eriksson in Stockholm

On April 16 Marcus Grönholm, at a press conference in the Kungsträdgården of Stockholm, announced a limited programme to take part in at least five rounds of the FIA European Championships for Rallycross Drivers (ERC). Grönholm participated in the series as team member of Andréas Eriksson's Ford Team RS Europe and, like the 2003 Swedish rally champion, drove a brand new 4WD Ford Fiesta ST European Rallycross Car (ERC) with 560 bhp (420 kW) and 800+ Nm torque that goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.2 seconds, faster than any current Formula One car. The programme was later reduced to three 2008 ERC rounds (Sweden, Holland and Poland). Grönholm qualified on pole and went on to take the win in his ERC debut at Höljes in Sweden on July 6 in front of 23,400 spectators.[3]

In August 2008, Grönholm turned down Stobart M-Sport Ford's offer to return to the WRC to replace the injured Gigi Galli.[4] It was later reported that the factory teams of Citroën and Subaru both wanted to sign him for the 2009 season. In December, Grönholm and Subaru were reportedly close to signing to a full 12-event program, when the team re-structured the potential deal for financial reasons to include only four events, which did not interest Grönholm.[5] Soon after, Subaru announced its shock withdrawal from the series due to the economic downturn.

Grönholm came out of retirement to contest the 2009 Rally Portugal in a Prodrive-prepared Subaru Impreza WRC2008. He stated that he was not aiming for the win and that "it will be fun to return [to the WRC], even in an ad-hoc way, in a car that I don’t know at all and after a year where I competed in some rallycross events."[6] Despite this Grönholm performed well and stayed in touch with the leaders; he was in 4th position when he spun on Saturday’s opening stage, damaging the car's engine and ending his rally.[7]

It has been confirmed by Grönholm that he will take part in the 2010 Rally Sweden driving a Ford Focus RS WRC for Team Therminator, alongside countryman Matthias Therman. Grönholm will be co-driven, as usual, by Timo Rautiainen[8].

Personal life

Grönholm lives in Inkoo with his wife Teresa and their three children. He and his co-driver Timo Rautiainen are brothers-in-law.[9]

Titles

Year Title Car
1991  Finnish champion (Group N)  Toyota Celica GT-Four
1994  Finnish champion (Group A)  Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD
1996  Finnish champion (Group A)  Toyota Celica GT-Four
1997  Finnish champion (Group A)  Toyota Celica GT-Four
1998  Finnish champion (Group A)  Toyota Corolla WRC /
Toyota Celica GT-Four
2000  World Rally Champion  Peugeot 206 WRC
2002  World Rally Champion  Peugeot 206 WRC
2002  Champion of Champions  Varies

WRC wins

Grönholm at the Bunnings Jumps of the 2006 Rally Australia.
 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Sweden 49th International Swedish Rally 2000 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
2 New Zealand30th Rally New Zealand 2000 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
3 Finland 50th Neste Rally Finland 2000 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
4 Australia 13th Telstra Rally Australia 2000 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
5 Finland 51st Neste Rally Finland 2001 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
6 Australia 14th Telstra Rally Australia 2001 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
7 United Kingdom 57th Network Q Rally of Great Britain 2001 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
8 Sweden 51st Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2002 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
9 Cyprus 30th Cyprus Rally 2002 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
10 Finland 52nd Neste Rally Finland 2002 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
11 New Zealand 32nd Propecia Rally New Zealand 2002 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
12 Australia 15th Telstra Rally Australia 2002 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
13 Sweden 52nd Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2003 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
14 New Zealand 33rd Propecia Rally New Zealand 2003 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
15 Argentina 23º Rally Argentina 2003 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 206 WRC
16 Finland 54th Neste Rally Finland 2004 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 307 WRC
17 Finland 55th Neste Rally Finland 2005 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 307 WRC
18 Japan 2nd Rally Japan 2005 Timo Rautiainen Peugeot 307 WRC
19 Monaco 74ème Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
20 Sweden 55th Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
21 Greece 53rd Acropolis Rally 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
22 Finland 56th Neste Oil Rally Finland 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
23 Turkey 7th Rally of Turkey 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
24 New Zealand 36th Propecia Rally New Zealand 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
25 United Kingdom 62nd Wales Rally GB 2006 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
26 Sweden 56th Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2007 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
27 Italy 4º Supermag Rally Italia Sardinia 2007 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
28 Greece 54th BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally of Greece 2007 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 06
29 Finland 57th Neste Oil Rally Finland 2007 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 07
30 New Zealand 37th Propecia Rally New Zealand 2007 Timo Rautiainen Ford Focus RS WRC 07

Complete WRC results

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1989 Marcus Grönholm Lancia Delta Integrale SWE MON POR KEN FRA GRC NZL ARG FIN
23
AUS ITA CIV GBR - 0
1990 Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica GT-Four MON POR KEN FRA GRC NZL ARG FIN
Ret
AUS ITA CIV GBR - 0
1991 Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica GT-Four MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRC NZL ARG FIN
13
AUS ITA CIV ESP GBR - 0
1992 Finnish Junior Rally Team Toyota Celica GT-Four MON SWE
Ret
POR KEN FRA GRC NZL ARG - 0
Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD FIN
Ret
AUS ITA CIV ESP GBR
1993 Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRC ARG NZL FIN
10
AUS ITA ESP GBR 65th 1
1994 Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD MON POR KEN FRA GRC ARG NZL FIN
5
ITA GBR 19th 8
1995 Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD MON SWE
Ret
FRA NZL
Ret
AUS ESP GBR - 0
H.F. Grifone Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD POR
Ret
1996 Marcus Grönholm Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD SWE
7
KEN IDN GRC ARG 10th 14
Team Toyota Castrol Finland Toyota Celica GT-Four FIN
4
AUS ITA ESP
1997 Toyota Castrol Team Sweden Toyota Celica GT-Four MON SWE
8
KEN 12th 5
Team Toyota Castrol Finland Toyota Celica GT-Four POR
Ret
ESP FRA
H.F. Grifone Toyota Celica GT-Four ARG
4
GRC NZL
Toyota Castrol Team Toyota Corolla WRC FIN
Ret
IDN ITA AUS GBR
5
1998 H.F. Grifone Toyota Celica GT-Four MON SWE
5
KEN 16th 2
Toyota Corolla WRC POR
Ret
ESP
Ret
FRA ARG GRC NZL
Ret
Toyota Castrol Team Toyota Corolla WRC FIN
7
ITA AUS GBR
Ret
1999 SEAT Sport SEAT Córdoba WRC MON SWE
Ret
KEN 15th 5
Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart Mitsubishi Carisma GT Evo VI POR
Ret
ESP FRA ARG
Peugeot Esso Peugeot 206 WRC GRC
Ret
NZL FIN
4
CHN ITA
8
AUS
5
GBR
Ret
2000 Peugeot Esso Peugeot 206 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
1
KEN
Ret
POR
2
ESP
5
ARG
2
GRC
Ret
NZL
1
FIN
1
CYP
Ret
FRA
5
ITA
4
AUS
1
GBR
2
1st 65
2001 Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
Ret
POR
3
ESP
Ret
ARG
Ret
CYP
Ret
GRC
Ret
KEN
Ret
FIN
1
NZL
5
ITA
7
FRA
Ret
AUS
1
GBR
1
4th 36
2002 Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON
5
SWE
1
FRA
2
ESP
4
CYP
1
ARG
DSQ
GRC
2
KEN
Ret
FIN
1
GER
3
ITA
2
NZL
1
AUS
1
GBR
Ret
1st 77
2003 Marlboro Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON
13
SWE
1
TUR
9
NZL
1
ARG
1
GRC
Ret
CYP
Ret
GER
2
FIN
Ret
AUS
Ret
ITA
Ret
FRA
4
ESP
6
GBR
Ret
6th 46
2004 Marlboro Peugeot Total Peugeot 307 WRC MON
4
SWE
2
MEX
6
NZL
2
CYP
DSQ
GRC
Ret
TUR
2
ARG
Ret
FIN
1
GER
Ret
JPN
4
GBR
Ret
ITA
7
FRA
4
ESP
2
AUS
Ret
5th 62
2005 Marlboro Peugeot Total Peugeot 307 WRC MON
5
SWE
Ret
MEX
2
NZL
2
ITA
3
CYP
Ret
TUR
3
GRC
4
ARG
2
FIN
1
GER
3
GBR
Ret
JPN
1
FRA
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUS
Ret
3rd 71
2006 BP Ford World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 06 MON
1
SWE
1
MEX
8
ESP
3
FRA
2
ARG
10
ITA
Ret
GRC
1
GER
3
FIN
1
JPN
2
CYP
2
TUR
1
AUS
5
NZL
1
GBR
1
2nd 111
2007 BP Ford World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 06 MON
3
SWE
1
NOR
2
MEX
2
POR
4
ARG
2
ITA
1
GRC
1
2nd 112
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 FIN
1
GER
4
NZL
1
ESP
3
FRA
2
JPN
Ret
IRE
Ret
GBR
2
2009 Prodrive Subaru Impreza WRC2008 IRE NOR CYP POR
Ret
ARG ITA GRE POL FIN AUS ESP GBR NC 0

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Richard Burns
Autosport
International Rally Driver Award

2002
Succeeded by
Petter Solberg
Preceded by
Sébastien Loeb
Autosport
International Rally Driver Award

2007
Succeeded by
Sébastien Loeb
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Harri Rovanperä
Race of Champions
Champion of Champions

2002
Succeeded by
Sébastien Loeb
Preceded by
Tom Kristensen
Mattias Ekström
Race of Champions
Nations' Cup

2006 with:
Heikki Kovalainen
Succeeded by
Michael Schumacher
Sebastian Vettel

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