In an interview for Finnish site Sportti.com, he revealed that he was fascinated with how this year's Dakar competition went down – being the first time it was held outside the African continent – and admitted the thought of him making the entry list next year is now “more interesting”. He insisted the change of heart happened thanks to the organizers changing the traditional location of the event.
“I watched the Dakar Rally from TV. It looks fascinating and because it isn't in Africa any more, maybe next year it would be an option. As I have told once, I would never participate in the Dakar Rally when it is in Africa, but now it is interesting,” revealed Gronholm for the aforementioned site.
Gronholm spent the last year – his first season outside the WRC – competing in the European Rallycross championship. He scored one win – in Sweden – in the first part of the season, finishing the series as the 17th best driver. He competed on a Ford Fiesta ST.
The reason why Gronholm has ruled out a potential participation in the Dakar Rally before 2009 was because the event organizers could not grant the safety of the participants in terms of terrorist attacks. There were several cases – mostly in the 1990s – when some of the drivers were killed by members of several rebel organizations. In fact, terrorist threats were the main reason why the Dakar Rally was moved from Africa after the 2007 edition.