WORLD RALLY LEADER, GRONHOLM, CONFIRMED FOR THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS Marcus Gronholm has said he would like to cap his retirement year with the title 'Champion of Champions' as he today confirmed his participation in The Race of Champions at...
WORLD RALLY LEADER, GRONHOLM, CONFIRMED FOR THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS
Marcus Gronholm has said he would like to cap his retirement year with the title 'Champion of Champions' as he today confirmed his participation in The Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium on 16 December.
The double World Rally Champion is currently poised to take his third WRC title after spectacularly winning the last round in New Zealand by the smallest-ever margin to put himself 10 points ahead of main rival Sebastien Loeb.
The Race of Champions, in which Gronholm has been a regular contender, will see the accomplished rally driver's phenomenal skills pitted against the best F1, touring cars, NASCAR and sports car have to offer in head-to-head race-offs in front of an auditorium of fans.
"I don't feel pressure for us rally drivers to beat the F1 drivers but we do beat them anyway!" said the BP-Ford driver, who won The Race of Champions in 2002. "The Race of Champions is a little bit more relaxed than normal racing, but when I'm there I start to push to the maximum!
"I have decided after this year to step down a little bit so I would like to win everything! To be 'Champion of Champions' at the end of the year would be fantastic."
Gronholm will be driving for Team Finland in the Nations Cup, where racers compete in pairs for their homeland, and says there is nobody in particular amongst the star-studded ROC line-up that he wants to beat in the individual ROC category.
"I want to beat them all; I can't name somebody in particular!" said the 39-year-old. "It's a very good line-up this year, with Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. I just want to come out on top!"
Earlier this month the world was devastated by the news that rally driver Colin McRae, who was due to compete in The Race of Champions this year, had died in a helicopter crash.
"I haven't seen him so much in the rally," said Gronholm, who raced against McRae many times in the past. "At The Race of Champions he has been always there and we have had a few drinks together. It is very sad feeling for everybody.
"It's really bad what happened. He will be very missed by all rally people. There was only one Colin McRae; a special, good driver and very, very good when he was on top."