Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson has tipped double World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm for a podium finish when the Finn returns to WRC action on the Swedish Rally next month.
Gronholm will drive for the Stobart VK M-Sport team and has been nominated to score points for the Cumbrian-based squad on the 2010 season opener. Gronholm, who retired from the sport at the end of 2007, made a one-off appearance on last year's Rally of Portugal, driving a Subaru Impreza WRC.
Wilson said: "I still think that Marcus can be very quick in Sweden. It's his favourite rally, he's kept himself in good shape. Okay, he's probably not as match fit as these other guys but with it being the event that it is, and going into the stages that he's been in before where the other guys haven't, I have no doubt he can finish on the podium."
With the Stobart squad running as a WRC team rather than a fully fledged manufacturer outfit, Gronholm's car has to be a year behind in terms of homologation, meaning he will drive a 2008-specification Focus.
Wilson continued: "That's [the Focis RS WRC 08] as much as you can run with an M2 team. But even so, we're still very confident with that car that Marcus will be able to mix it with the other guys."