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Gronholm secures second at Pikes Peak

Marcus Gronholm battled a problem with the engine on his Ford Fiesta to secure second place in the Unlimited Class on his debut in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The former WRC title winner was looking to try and break the 10 minute mark up the 12.4 mile climb at the wheel of his 800-horsepower rallycross machine, but he had to settle for a time of 11min 28.963secs.

That left Gronholm second behind Nobuhiro Tajima although the Finn was able to pick up 'rookie of the year' honours for his performance.

"I always wanted to compete at Pikes Peak,” he sad. "Having been here over the last week I have to admit that it is one of the most challenging events I have ever done in my career. This is one of those events that you will want to tell people that you came and competed in.

"I had heard about Pikes Peak and seen the famous film shot on the mountain with Ari Vatanen 20 years ago, but only when you come here do you realise how much of a challenge it is.

"The handling of the Fiesta is absolutely fantastic, and the BF Goodrich tires were great. Unfortunately we had a few small problems on the run today. I lost some power during the last few kilometres, but I was determined to finish. The Fiesta has huge potential, and could beat the 10-minute record. If I come back I know what we need to do to be fastest."

Team-mate Andreas Eriksson failed to make it the finish after running off the road just two miles into the climb.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marcus Gronholm in action at Pikes Peak [Pic credit: worldrallypics.com]
Marcus Gronholm in action at Pikes Peak [Pic credit: worldrallypics.com]
Marcus Gronholm in action at Pikes Peak [Pic credit: worldrallypics.com]
Podium WRC2; Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA) Ford Fiesta RRC
Podium WRC2; Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA) Ford Fiesta RRC
Ott Tanak (EST) Raigo Molder (EST) Ford Fiesta RS
Ott Tanak (EST) Ford Fiesta RS
Ott Tanak (EST) Raigo Molder (EST) Ford Fiesta RS
Yuril Protasov (UKR) Pavlo Cherepin (UKR) Ford Fiesta RRC
Robert Kubica (POL) Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Robert Kubica (POL) Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Robert Kubica (POL) Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Robert Kubica (POL) Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Robert Kubica (POL) Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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Tomi - Unregistered

July 21, 2009 10:57 AM

I don't think we can compare Walter Rohrl and Gronholm attempts. Although it is officialy backed by Ford, the team who developped and set up the Ford Fiesta is a small rallycross team which whose experience can't be compared with Audi's experience back in the days in rally when they modified the Audi S2 for the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. They had a lot of issues during the practices. And back in the days there was no Nobuhiro's Tajima Suzuki which is a real prototype in comparison to the Ford Fiesta.



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