Gronholm's Sweden warning

Marcus Gronholm has fired a warning shot to title rival and World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb by declaring his intention to win the Swedish Rally. The Finn is keen to stop the Citroen star, who won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally at a canter, from breaking away at the top of the points table and has targeted a fourth win on the Swedish Rally, which takes place next weekend

Gronholm's Sweden warning

Peugeot's Finnish star won his first ever WRC event in Sweden in 2000 and added further victories in 2002 and '03. He finished second to Loeb last year, as the Frenchman became the first non-Scandinavian to win the event. But now, with a year's development behind the 307, Gronholm feels it is time to re-establish his dominance on the Swedish snow.

"I also love the Swedish Rally because it's fun to drive," said Gronholm. "I hope this year's event goes well for me. I think I have a very good chance. I came second last year on what was only the 307 WRC's second outing after dropping a minute early on. Since then, the car has progressed and our testing in Sweden in December went particularly well."

Gronholm has fond memories of the event and reckons his first Swedish win was of the finest of his career: "It was my maiden win of course, but it was also extremely important for the team.

"I will never forget the celebrations at the end of the final stage where [Peugeot team principal] Corrado Provera was waiting for me," he added. "It was very moving. Then it was on to the final service halt where we were greeted by the whole team. That was a memorable moment too.

Gronholm's new team-mate Markko Martin has also proved quick on snow, but as yet the Estonian's best result in Sweden was a fourth place in a works Ford Focus in 2003.

"Along with Finland and New Zealand, the Swedish is one of my three favourite events," he said. "I momentarily led the rally in 2004 and this year will be my first experience with the 307 WRC off asphalt. The car is intrinsically very competitive and Marcus proved that with some top stage times in Sweden last season. That's very encouraging and I will certainly give it my absolute best."

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