Gronholm eyes Pikes Peak return

Double World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm has vowed to return to Pikes Peak in an effort to make up for his disappointing debut at the event on Sunday

Gronholm eyes Pikes Peak return

Gronholm's 800bhp, rallycross-derived Ford Fiesta finished second in the unlimited class, more than a minute behind former Suzuki World Rally Team boss Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima, who won the event in his Suzuki Sport XL7.

Gronholm said: "It would be nice to come back here again, but next time to be prepared."

Gronholm had only driven the Fiesta briefly before leaving Europe and was hampered by overheating on the event itself.

"I always wanted to compete at Pikes Peak," said Gronholm. "Having been here over the last week I have to admit that it is one of the most challenging events I have ever done in my career. This is one of those events that you will want to tell people that you came and competed in.

"I had heard about Pikes Peak and seen the famous film shot on the mountain with Ari Vatanen 20 years ago, but only when you come here do you realise how much of a challenge it is.

"The handling of the Fiesta is absolutely fantastic, and the BF Goodrich tyres were great. Unfortunately we had a few small problems on the run. I lost some power during the last few kilometres, but I was determined to finish. The Fiesta has huge potential, and could beat the 10-minute record. If I come back I know what we need to do to be fastest."

His team-mate, Swedish rallycross star Andreas Eriksson's event was even worse as he rolled the sister car to Gronholm's in practice and crashed again during his timed run yesterday.

Tajima's victory time was 14 seconds slower than his own record, meaning the 10-minute barrier has still not been beaten.

Britain's Mark Rennison made the summit in his RS200, third in the unlimited class, but almost two minutes down on Tajima's Suzuki.

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