Gronholm/Rautianen to retire !
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This is a discussion on Gronholm/Rautianen to retire ! within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; from: http://www.crash.net/news_view~cid~4~id~154402.htm BP Ford team leader Marcus Gronholm - and his co-driver Timo Rautiainen, will both retire from the FIA ...

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    Post Gronholm/Rautianen to retire !

    from: http://www.crash.net/news_view~cid~4~id~154402.htm

    BP Ford team leader Marcus Gronholm - and his co-driver Timo Rautiainen, will both retire from the FIA World Rally Championship at the end of the 2007 season.

    The Finn, who currently leads the race for the 2007 drivers' title - 10 points up on arch rival, Sebastien Loeb, revealed that while the decision was difficult, he reckons that now is the correct time to go as he wants to hang up his helmet while still at the top level of the sport.

    "This has been an incredibly hard decision for me to make," explained the two-time world champion. "Rallying has been my life for so many years and when the Monte Carlo Rally comes round in January to start next year's championship, it will feel strange not to be there.

    "But the time is right for me to finish now. I wanted to stop while I still had the speed to win rallies. I didn't want to leave the decision too late so that I wasn't capable of winning any longer.

    "This will allow me to spend more time with my wife and three children. They have fully supported me all the way through my career and I would like to thank them for that. I could not have achieved what I have without their encouragement.

    "Now this decision is made, I want to concentrate on the remaining five rounds of the season. We lead both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships and I would like nothing more than to end my career with another title," he added.

    For the record, Gronholm and Rautiainen are one of the sport's most successful pairings ever and are second in the list of all-time rally wins with 30 - three less than Loeb.
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    http://www.crash.net/news_view~cid~4~id~154405.htm

    BP Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson has confirmed that no decision has been made yet on who will replace Marcus Gronholm.

    Speaking following the announcement that the Finn will bow out at the end of this season, Wilson Sr added that while it is a blow for the Cumbria-based outfit to lose someone of Gronholm's calibre, they have been aware it was a possibility for sometime.

    "I'm sorry that he is going to stop but I fully respect his decision,” said the M-Sport boss.

    “His driving achievements speak for themselves but his input to the team, in particular his encouragement and help to Mikko Hirvonen [our number two driver], will be greatly missed as they have formed the strongest driving partnership in the WRC.

    “We knew his retirement was a possibility. We are developing plans for next season and when they are finalised we will confirm them.

    “In the meantime I would like to try to help Marcus and Timo [Rautiainen - his co-driver, who is also retiring] to achieve a unique feat by ending their careers with a world title in their final season together," he added.

    Ford Team RS director Jost Capito and Ford of Europe president and CEO John Fleming meanwhile have both paid tribute to Marcus and Rautiainen and their contribution to Ford's recent
    WRC successes.

    "I will be sorry to see Marcus go but he will leave behind some great memories at Ford. He played an influential part in our first world title for 27 years last season and his appetite for victory is undiminished this year,” noted Capito.

    “He is one of only two drivers to have won 30 rallies in the WRC and he will go into the history books as one of the sport's all-time greats.

    “On behalf of the whole team, I would like to thank Marcus and Timo for their whole-hearted commitment during the past two seasons and wish them the best of luck for the future."
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    this is crazy!
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    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    I've always liked gronholm. The "slightly surprise" look he always has, even with his somewhat gruff form of speach, was always appealing. He seems like a big kid surprised at the attention he was getting for doing something he loves.
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 09-14-2007 at 08:02 AM. Reason: gronholm
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    Registered User Geese1's Avatar
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    So he's finally made a decision? I know it's been rumored for a while that he would retire if he won the World Championship, but now it looks like it's a go either way.

    I like Gronholm, and will be sad to see him go. Without him, I really don't see anyone else currently running with the ability to seriously challenge Loeb. Hirvonen doesn't seem to be quite to that level yet, and with Solberg I'm beginning to wonder if a lot of the problems SWRT has been having is due as much to him as to the car.

    Hey, I'm wondering... if Gronholm does win the Championship this year if he'll finally look happy during his interviews? Right now, the guy could have just hit the lottery and he still has that same expression...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geese1 View Post
    Right now, the guy could have just hit the lottery and he still has that same expression...
    so true
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    Somewhere there is a Frenchman that is very happy! As stated above, who will challenge Loeb? Maybe next week he will annouce his retirement! It will not be the same without Marcus, even though I was not a big Marcus fan, it made each rally interesting because he was in it and I hope he wins the championship this year.
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    Gronholm/Rautianen '06 season

    Last edited by Weasel 555; 09-14-2007 at 08:45 AM.
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    Registered User Yossarian's Avatar
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    I hope he can go out as champion. Been expecting them to announce this for a while, heard rumors about it at the beginning of the season. I'll miss his post stage interviews almost as much as his driving, such a character.

    Next season might be a bit boring if the frenchman is allowed to win rallys at ease without someone pushing him to make mistakes. Hirvonen seems to be our best hope, Petter might be there if he takes a liking to the new car and stops whining so much.

    This announcement should make for an exciting remainder of the season, can't wait for catalunya.
    ~Selah

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    Damn. Marcus is by far my fav. driver on the WRC. His expressions always make me laugh. Hopefully it doesn't turn into the Loeb show.

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    Although I didn't like that song, all good things do come to an end.


    Hopefully there will be others like them!!!
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    I hope he goes out on top! What a great driver! Remember the rally where he rolled and lost 10 minutes, then came back to win it? That kind of thing doesn't happen often.
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    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbs627 View Post
    Damn. Marcus is by far my fav. driver on the WRC. His expressions always make me laugh. Hopefully it doesn't turn into the Loeb show.
    I completely agree with this entire post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrx wagone View Post
    I completely agree with this entire post.
    So do I.

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    This is the classic interview!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqQhQSbe6fw

    I also liked how he seemingly would driver an entire stage, without blinking, and have his mouth open the entire time
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