Gronholm: I can Challenge Loeb

Marcus Gronholm reckons he will be able to challenge runaway championship leader Sebastien Loeb on next week's Rally Finland, because of the pace he showed on Leg Two of the Rally Argentina

The Peugeot driver took three of the first four stage wins on the event's second leg, however was beaten overall by Loeb.

But Gronholm believes that the stages on the Rally Finland will be similar to those second leg Argentinean stages, and is confident he can be competitive.

Gronholm won the Rally Finland last season, but Loeb has won seven of the nine rallies held so far this season.

"The 307 WRC is effectively very competitive on wide, fast, smooth stages," said Gronholm, "which notably call for very good traction, and that's an encouraging sign for Finland.

"With the exception of the shock absorbers, which will be adapted to meet the demands of the unique jumps, the car's specification will be very similar to the one we used in Argentina, so it is reasonable to believe we can be competitive in Finland.

"In the damp and sometimes wet conditions we had in Argentina where the temperature was cooler than the Mediterranean-based rallies, our Pirelli tyres worked well. So there is every reason to believe they will work at least as well in Finland.

"It won't be easy for Loeb and it will be up to us to make the most of that. Every year, I feel unbeatable going into 'my' rally', but this time I get the feeling we will need to be particularly strong and focused if we want to win."

However, Gronholm still believes the team have some way to go to be able to match Loeb's pace on a regular basis.

He added: "Unfortunately, there is this sneaky feeling that something's lacking, a small 'plus' that could make all the difference. That tiny something is proving difficult to find, but the whole team is looking for it. Nobody has given up, especially not Marcus Gronholm."

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