Marcus Grönholm has been revealed as the ‘Offical Rally Legend’ for Wales Rally GB later this year.
Grönholm, who won the FIA World Rally Championship twice in 2000 and 2002, will be part of the event in the autumn to be part of ceremonial duties and will also be around to meet fans across the four-day event.
The Finn won a total of 30 events across his eight years at the highest level, with only Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb winning more rallies in the WRC.
Grönholm said after the news was revealed: “It is very nice to be invited to be the official legend and I’m looking forward to being back in the atmosphere once again.”
“I haven’t been to Wales for many, many years but I have lots of good memories of the event. I won my first championship there [when finishing second behind Richard Burns in 2000] and we had a great party afterwards, and I also stopped my career on Rally GB – it was my last real WRC rally.”
He continued about the Welsh event: “It’s forever been a tough rally. The first time I came I struggled as it was foggy, slippery and really difficult but, after a while, I started to like it. It can be lovely when the sun shines but when it rains and there’s fog it’s not easy.”
“The night stages are completely different, too. They have always been part of the game and always present an opportunity for a driver to make a difference as some aren’t as fast as others in the dark!”
Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, added on Grönholm’s history with the event and the WRC: “The history books don’t lie – those are remarkable achievements and Marcus is truly worthy of his legendary status.”
“We are delighted that Marcus will be our guest of honour at this year’s World Championship event and I know the British fans will welcome him back. This will be a very special year for the event as we are celebrating the 75th running of Rally GB – Marcus is a major part of that history and we are all looking forward to sharing memories with him come October.”
Wales Rally GB for 2019 sees a revised route, which includes an opening Super Special stage around Oulton Park on October 3 before continuing in the Welsh forests throughout the rest of the weekend.