Marcus Gronholm has inked a deal to become a test driver with Volkswagen, it has been announced.
The Finn, who won the World Rally Championship with Peugeot in 2000 and 2002, will now “support the works team at test sessions with the Polo R WRC” providing “invaluable assistance when it comes to testing and further developing the [Polo R] World Rally Car.”
The 46-year-old last competed full-time in the WRC in 2007 with Ford, and during his career he took in 150 WRC events in total, winning 30 rallies as well as taking 60 podiums and 540 stage wins.
“To get behind the wheel for the World Championship winning team from Wolfsburg is obviously a great opportunity for me,” said Gronholm, who made his WRC debut back in 1989.
“I am really looking forward to testing and having the chance to work on the further development of what is currently the best rally car out there – the Polo R WRC.”
Gronholm took his place at the wheel of the Polo R WRC for the first time during the gravel tests in Fontjoncouse, southern France, earlier this month. He will now “assist at selected tests” in the future working alongside current drivers, Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.
“We are delighted to have Marcus Gronholm on board as test driver for our WRC project,” said Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito.
“Marcus is one of the most successful and talented rally drivers around, and will support us with the further development of the Polo R WRC.
"Thanks to his in-depth understanding of technical aspects and his analytical skills, he will be able to provide our engineers with valuable input.”