Double World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm believes the fight for the 2013 World Rally championship will be a three-way battle.

Gronholm, who won the title in 2000 and 2002 with Peugeot, said the championship will come down to a fight between Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier and Citroen drivers Dani Sordo and compatriot Mikko Hirvonen.

"It's really good for rallying that VW came in", Gronholm told, "and I think Ogier is really hard [to beat] with a new car, but okay, they are a new team so maybe there will be a few problems.

"Citroen is still winning everything," he added. "But we don't know how long they'll be there. Dani has the experience, and Mikko - whilst he was not really good in Monte Carlo because if you don't have the confidence there, you're in trouble - has many, many strong rallies [coming up] he could win."

Despite his prediction though, the Finn believes that were the current World Champion Sebastien Loeb competing in all 13 events of the 2013 WRC calendar, then the Frenchman would add another championship to his already record breaking run of nine titles.

"Yes, why shouldn't I think like that? He is the best," he insisted.

Whilst Gronholm will today provide some mentoring for Motorsport Italia's Michal Kosciuszko's in order to get the Polish driver up to speed on the ice and snow of the upcoming Swedish Rally, he stopped short of predicting a full-time comeback to the series.

"I have my job here with some different things here in Finland, a little bit of PR, some driving here and there... but I think it's time to cool down and be with the family more.

"I'm 44 now," he joked. "Time is running, hey?"

by George East



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