Gronholm gets Toyota WRC outing in Sweden

Two-time World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm will return to the sport to drive a Toyota Yaris WRC in next month’s Rally Sweden.

Gronholm gets Toyota WRC outing in Sweden
Listen to this article

The car, privately entered by Gronholm, will be run by Toyota Gazoo Racing, but not as part of the factory effort.

Gronholm is the joint-most successful driver in the history of Sweden’s WRC round, but he has laughed off suggestions that he is chasing a sixth win which would put him one ahead of Swedish legend Stig Blomqvist.

As Motorsport.com reported in September, Gronholm came close to driving a Yaris on his favourite round of the world championship last year, but a lack of cars made it difficult. His belated 50th birthday present comes this season.

“This is about me enjoying my birthday present on the great roads of Rally Sweden,” said Gronholm, who turns 51 the week before his WRC return. “I have many unforgettable memories from the event and I scored my very first WRC win there in 2000. So, now I’ll be doing the rally one more time.

“I’m kind of over-aged as a rally driver, so I’ll be driving accordingly. But, my starting place will be good behind the others, so I guess we could still come up with something…”

Gronholm, who will have his regular co-driver Timo Rautiainen back with him, is no stranger to the Yaris after he drove a factory car for demonstration purposes on the Harju street stage at Rally Finland in 2017.

He will test the car again before Sweden.

“I intend to drive as many kilometres as possible in order to get a good feel for the car,” he said. “I’m not going to waste time setting up the car myself, but instead will get a set-up from Toyota Gazoo Racing that they think will work well.”

Makinen told Motorsport.com he is looking forward to seeing what his countryman can do in Sweden.

“He could be very fast, especially in somewhere like Sweden which was one of the rallies he loves,” said Makinen. “With some testing, he could be good and it would be brilliant to see him back on that rally after he won it so many times.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Photo by: Toyota Racing

shares
comments
Ostberg lands Citroen drive in WRC2
Previous article

Ostberg lands Citroen drive in WRC2

Next article

Why Ogier's Citroen reunion won't be awkward

Why Ogier's Citroen reunion won't be awkward
Load comments
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Prime

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
Jan 24, 2022
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Prime

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. We pick out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Prime

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Prime

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. We pick out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Prime

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against teammate Elfyn Evans.

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021