Wales Rally GB will mark the retirement of Finland's Marcus Groenholm from the World Rally Championship with a presentation on Thursday 29 November on the Start Podium in Cardiff.
Groenholm will make his 150th World Rally Championship start this week at the final of the FIA World Rally Championship, which is running from 29 November - 2 December - the last professional event of his hugely successful career.
Groenholm, World Champion in 2000 and 2002, is bidding to win a third WRC title on Wales Rally GB having already contributed to Ford's success in winning the 2007 Manufacturers' WRC title. This year's World Rally Championship has gone down to the wire, with the title yet to be decided on this the 16th and final round. After crashing on the penultimate round, Rally Ireland, Groenholm's rival Sebastien Loeb has taken a six point lead, leaving Groenholm needing to win and Loeb to finish fifth or better to secure the title. Should Loeb win, it will be his fourth successive World Championship title.
The Ceremonial Start will begin at 19:30 in Cardiff, adjacent to Cardiff City Hall, on King Edward VII Avenue. Here Groenholm will be presented with a crystal bowl, hand-made by Welsh Crystal in Rhayader, to celebrate his retirement. Prior to the Ceremonial Start there will be an autograph signing session with rallying legends and current World and British Championship drivers which will begin at 18:00 with free admission.
"Groenholm is currently the reigning Champion of Wales Rally GB and has always been a thrill to watch," explained Andrew Coe, Chief Executive of Wales Rally GB. "It is a privilege that his final run will be on Welsh soil at the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship. We wish him all the best in Wales Rally GB and for the future."
Ford Motor Company is the Official Vehicle Supplier to Wales Rally GB. Their support includes 170 liveried vehicles covering their entire car and commercial range, including Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Ranger - with essential off-road capability - as well as Transits.