Gronholm Will Not Compete in 2010 Rally Portugal
During the 2009 Rally Portugal, Gronholm made an impressive start on Day 1, at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRC, before rolling out of the rally. That was his only start in the WRC last year. In 2010 however, he started out on a 2008-spec Ford Focus RS WRC in Rally Sweden, but several mechanical and electrical issues prevented him from running inside the Top 10 throughout the event.
Gronholm eventually finished the Swedish rally in 21st place, obviously a disappointment for a man who used to dominate the field in his winning WRC years. Following the Sweden fiasco, the Flying Finn realized that the poor results were caused by a lack of testing, which he never got to do in recent weeks. Consequently, another potential embarrassing performance in Portugal was ruled out.
“I need more time to test the car if I am going to come back like this. It's not enough to find the speed again with a couple of days. People ask me about doing Finland (Rally Finland) again, but I don't know,” said Gronholm, according to Autosport.
“When I stopped, in 2007, I was on the top and I went out of Finland a winner. I would hate to come back and sit in fifth or sixth place, that would be s*** for me. Sweden this year was on the limit, there wasn't really enough testing and the car wasn't the last specification.”
“There was something possible for Portugal this year, but it's not happening. If I can get the right car and a good test, maybe it's interesting,” added the two-time WRC champion, who confirmed he had to let go of his Pikes Peak hillclimb programme this year due to late development of his projected Ford Fiesta.