Gronholm warns Burns of 'big fight' on home soil

Marcus Gronholm warned his World Rally Championship title rival, Richard Burns, to expect a difficult time in this weekend's Rally of Finland.

The Finn has won three events so far this season while his Peugeot team-mate Burns has yet to get off the mark, even though he leads the championship series courtesy of his consistency.

Gronholm, third in the championship, has promised to give Burns a "big fight" when the event gets underway, and has already ear-marked his home rally as another potential victory.

Scandinavian drivers traditionally dominate in Finland and the two-times champion Gronholm admits he felt the weight of expectation before finally stamping his authority on the WRC.

"You really want to do well," he said. "For a long time, I personally started this event under a great deal of pressure. I am now less prone to that, no doubt following my first win in 2000.

"I really would have liked to have come away from Germany with more points in order to get closer to Richard in the championship. But Rally Finland could be a great opportunity to get another win.

"I feel confident but I'm expecting a big fight, especially with my own team-mates, Harri [Rovanpera] and Richard, as well as with Markko Martin who is very strong at the moment."

The British Rally Championship front runner Jari-Matti Latvala will be competing on home soil for the first time and the young Finn is desperate to make it an event to remember.

The 18-year-old began his competitive career in Britain last year because he was too young to earn a driving licence in Finland. But he returns home having impressed sufficiently in Britain to be given a car by the factory Ford squad.

"It means an awful lot to me to be competing at the Rally Finland for the first time," he said. "And I'm lucky to have the best car to drive.

"It has seemed a long time coming. I'm finally old enough to compete there and at last I will be behind the wheel rather than just cheering from the sidelines."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee