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.