Marcus Gronholm says his target is a place on the podium as the former champion makes another return to the World Rally Championship in Sweden.

Gronholm will compete in the season opener at the wheel of a Stobart M-Sport Ford Focus WRC and has been nominated for points by the team alongside Henning Solberg.

Gronholm has won in Sweden on two occasions in the past and will hope to at least match the third place finish secured for the team by Gigi Galli back in 2008.

"I'm really happy to be driving the Ford Focus again; it still feels really good to drive," the Finn said. "All the stages on this rally will be quite difficult but I hear that there has been a lot of snow so there should be some big snow banks, which will make the conditions good.

"Realistically my aim is for a podium, yes it would be fantastic to be challenging for the win but that is going to be difficult after having such a long break from the WRC; I will just need to wait and see how my speed is."

Stobart M-Sport Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson said he was looking forward to the season ahead - which will see Stobart continue its support of both the team and his son Matthew - and expressed confidence of a strong start to the year.

"It's fantastic to see Stobart Group continuing for its fifth season in the
World Rally Championship and continuing to support Matthew again; his target this year is to achieve some podium finishes," he said. "The Stobart team have an impressive history in Sweden, Gigi Galli scored a podium there last time out, and with Marcus and Henning heading up the team, there's no reason why another podium couldn't be achieved.

"It's great to see Marcus back behind the wheel of a Ford Focus again."

Matthew Wilson and Mattias Therman will also run under the Stobart banner in Sweden.


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