Marcus Grönholm
Date of birth: 5 February 1968
Lives: Inkoo, Finland
Marital status: Married to Teresa, three children
First rally: 1987
First world rally: 1989 Rally Finland
World rallies started: 145
World rally wins: 30

Marcus Grönholm grew up with motorsport flowing through his veins. His father, Ulf, was one of Finland’s leading rally drivers
in the 1970s and the young Marcus started to compete in motocross at the age of just 13. His career showed promise but a knee injury
brought it to a halt in 1986. However, just one year later he gained his driving licence and followed in his father’s footsteps by
making his rally debut in a Ford Escort.

He became Finnish junior champion in 1988 and won the national Group N title in 1991 at the wheel of a Toyota Celica. He went
onto dominate the Finnish Championship, claiming four outright titles, including a hat–trick from 1996 –1998.

Although he made his WRC debut on his home rally in 1989, his chances at the highest level were few and he started only 25 WRC
events in 10 seasons. Results were impressive though. A fifth placed finish in 1994 and fourth two years later in privately–
entered cars on Rally Finland were bettered by fourth in Argentina in 1997. It earned him two rallies with the official Toyota
team and he made his mark by leading his home event on the opening two days.

An outstanding performance on the 1998 Rally Finland earned Grönholm his big breakthrough at the age of 31 – a contract to
drive with the official Peugeot team the following year. Having scaled down his work as a farmer in 1996, Grönholm was
ready for the challenge, assisted by his brother–in–law and co–driver Timo Rautiainen, with whom he had renewed their partnership
in 1995.

In 2000 they claimed their maiden WRC win in Sweden and also won in New Zealand, Finland and Australia to lift the drivers’ title
on their first attempt at the full championship and help Peugeot win the manufacturers’ crown. Three more wins followed in 2001,
in Finland, Australia and Great Britain, but an awful run of early–season retirements left the Finn in fourth in the drivers’

Grönholm bounced back in 2002 and five victories, including his third successive Rally Finland triumph, earned a second world
title. The wins continued in 2003, his fifth season at Peugeot and the last for the 206 World Rally Car. He scored three victories
before the French team introduced the 307 World Rally Car for 2004. It proved demanding to drive and Grönholm did well to collect
a string of podium finishes as well as victories in Finland in 2004 and 2005 and Japan in 2005.

Grönholm joined the Ford team in 2006 and made a dream start with victory on his first two events in Monte Carlo and Sweden.
He went on to claim a personal best seven victories to take second in the drivers’ standings as Ford won the manufacturers’ title,
with further successes in Greece, Finland, Turkey, New Zealand and Britain. His Finland win was his sixth success on home soil.

Away from rallying Grönholm enjoys relaxing at home with his family and is a keen sports fan, both participating and watching.

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