Gronholm hails Martin

Former WRC champion Marcus Gronholm believes that his new Peugeot team-mate Markko Martin could be the catalyst that turns the French squad's 307 into a regular winner in 2005

Gronholm hails Martin

The Estonian driver, who switched from the Ford WRC team at the end of last season and took back-to-back asphalt victories in Corsica and Catalunya, brings with him knowledge of what Gronholm believes was the best car in last year's championship - the Focus WRC.

"He comes from the car that was probably the best in the championship," Gronholm told Motorsport News, "so it will be interesting to hear the feedback he gives our team. Maybe he will see the same ways to improve the car as me, so then there are two of us pushing. I think this year the engineers will have more freedom."

Gronholm also sees the benefits of having a regular event-winner as a team-mate. The Finn was paired with compatriot Harri Rovanpera in 2004 who shone on occasion, but Martin is expected to push Gronholm hard this season.

"Richard [Burns] was the hardest team-mate I have had, but we will have to wait and see about Markko," he says. "Anyway, I prefer thinking about the positive things rather than comparing Markko to myself.

Team boss Corrado Provera agrees that the competition between his driver pairing could push the team forward this season.

"Markko [Martin] likes our car and he has settled in quickly," he said. "I know what he thinks he can get out of it already, and I believe that there is still a lot to come from him. Markko and Marcus [Gronholm] are going to be very closely-matched this year."

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