Gronholm and Hirvonen Team Up in the Race of Champions

Marcus Gronholm will return to Race of Champions action for the next week's event at Beijing's Birds Nest Stadium. The Finnish driver will take part in both the individual and the Nation Cup events, partnering former Ford Rally Team teammate Mikko Hirvonen in the latter.

Gronholm has been a constant figure in the Race of Champions event throughout the years – except for 2008 – as he also recorded one win back in 2002. He tackled the season-ending event at all venues so far – Stade de France, Wembley Stadium and now Beijing's Olympic Stadium – and will team up with Hirvonen for the first time since their WRC partnership in 2007.

The Race of Champions is great fun, and I missed competing in it last year. Everyone has a laugh, but you always want to win, and because you’re in the same cars you don’t have the excuses if you don’t. It’s exciting, and I think racing in China will be fantastic,” said Gronholm.

He also praised his former teammate Mikko Hirvonen for the great fight he put up against Citroen's Sebastien Loeb in the 2009 World Rally Championship, as he eventually lost the title by a single point.

Well done to Mikko for his performance this year. He’s very quick and he doesn’t make many mistakes, which makes him a tough driver to beat. I know he won’t take long to get used to the event format in Beijing and when he does, Finland will have a very strong team,” added former WRC champion.

Event's organizer Fredrik Johnsson was most pleased with Gronholm's choice, as he thinks it will lead to one of the most impressive RoC fields in recent years. Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, Tom Kristensen, Yvan Muller and Mattias Ekstrom are only a few of the names that are going to battle each other in the Beijing event next week.

This year’s line-up is one of our most varied ever, as we aim to make The Race of Champions a real battle of champions from many different types of competition disciplines. With champions from Formula 1, rallying, touring cars, sports cars, off-road rallying, MotoGP and drifting, plus a new group stage format which means more action than ever before, it will be a great show not only for the fans in China, but also for ROC fans around the world,” said Johnsson.
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