Hero to zero is too strong for a two-time world champion. But Marcus Grönholm wouldn’t argue with the sentiment at the end of the opening night’s Logiman Mythical Cars Rally action.
The Finn rocketed into an 8.1-second lead before going off the road on a tightening right-hander after the finish. The Subaru Impreza WRC rolled down a bank and briefly caught fire.
Grönholm explained the incident to DirtFish saying: “Everything was nice, the feeling was good in the stage. It felt just like the old days.
“Then we come to the finish and, bam, the corner is there, right in front of me. I got the distance wrong. I am so stupid.
“We came to the corner and I tried, I tried with full throttle to try to pull the car out, but it didn’t work. We went to the grass and rolled. The car even caught fire for a moment – I grabbed the extinguisher and we managed to get it out.
“This is very s***. Grande s***. I am so sorry for Alessandro [Gino, car owner] and for the rally. I came here to have a nice time, to wave to the people and to enjoy the show and now this happens.”
The car has been recovered to Gino’s Cuneo headquarters and will take no further part in proceedings.
Peugeot 306 Maxi driver Patrick Magnou will move into the lead when Logiman Mythical Cars Rally restarts ion Saturday morning. Andreas Mikkelsen’s Škoda Fabia S2000 is 5.9s behind with Alister McRae rounding out the top four in a Best Impreza.