Gronholm Eyes New Time Record at Pikes Peak

Two weeks before his Rally Finland outing this year, former WRC champion Marcus Gronholm is preparing for his first shot at breaking the time record in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, USA.

The Finnish driver will drive a Olsberg Motor Sport Evolution prepared Ford Fiesta 4WD, powered by supercharged engine that delivers no less than 800 horsepower, and will officially attempt to break the 10-minute barrier of the 12.4-mile event. He will be co-driven by long-time WRC colleague Timo Alanne on Sunday.

I have been following the event for many years and I had seen the video from the race in 1986, I think. Then the opportunity came because Andreas asked me if I would do it, and I immediately said, ‘Yes, I would like to try,’” Gronholm said in an interview with the WRC official site.

The Finn admitted, however, that he didn't have the time he wanted to fully test the car prior to this weekend's event, but reckoned it's an obvious step forward in terms of power as compared to his usual WRC machinery.

The power of the car is good and it feels really easy to handle. I would have liked to test it a little bit more, but, like always, we are running against time, so it was in the last minute and the car had to be sent to the U.S.”

There’s much more power in this car, and that’s always nice. It’s nice to handle, but a little bit lacking in torque like the WRC cars have. They are quite easy on the torque but of course we have so much power, so it’s difficult to get it, to drive from the bottom, but otherwise it’s easy,” added Gronholm.

The standing time record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb belongs to former Suzuki World Rally Team boss Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima, who drove his 3.6 litre twin turbo Suzuki XL-7 to a 10:01.41 time back in 2007.
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