Gronholm signing was inspired, says Pug boss

Peugeot Sport principal Corrado Provera says the team's decision to sign new World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm was an inspired one

Gronholm signing was inspired, says Pug boss

Gronholm's 2000 campaign was his first complete season as a works driver, but one which netted him three wins and the drivers' title, as well as a makes' title for Peugeot.

"He is fantastic to work with," said Provera. "[Provera's predecessor] Jean-Pierre Nicolas made a good choice when he picked him at a time when Marcus didn't have the machinery to show his real talent."

Provera also praised the Peugeot Sport team for the major strides it has made since its WRC debut with the 206 in a limited programme of events in 1999.

"Nobody can imagine the feeling in this team at the moment," he said. "We can't forget that this is our first full year. In this very place one year ago, we were running out of cars on our first Rally GB with the 206 and now look at the situation - we can see how far we have come this year."

Gilles Panizzi also took two victories, winning on the tarmac of Corsica and Sanremo, but Provera says it wasn't until the second half of the season that Peugeot's attack fully took shape.

"By the halfway point of the season, we were not performing to our full potential, despite the fact that we had one win [Sweden]," he said. "But the second half has been remarkable, and that's thanks to the drivers and engineers - and particularly Marcus."

With the 2001 season starting in Monte Carlo in less than two months' time, Provera expressed confidence that the French team would be a factor once again.

"I'd like to tell the other teams that it will be even harder for them," he said, "but I want to stay modest for me and for Peugeot. But look at it this way: we will be trying very hard to stay at this level as long as possible."

To read Rally GB: winners' press conference click here.

To see the final standings, click here.

To see the schedule click here. (NOTE: All times are in GMT)

To see final championship standings click here.

If you can't see the latest results from Rally GB, clear the cache in your browser.

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