Peugeot WRC star Marcus Gronholm is confident of taking his third Swedish Rally win in four years this weekend, but Mitsubishi’s Gilles Panizzi has much lower expectations for the event.

Peugeot WRC star Marcus Gronholm is confident of taking his third Swedish Rally win in four years this weekend, but Mitsubishi’s Gilles Panizzi has much lower expectations for the event.


Such is Peugeot’s dominance of one of the fastest and most difficult rallies in the calendar, that the two-time WRC champ will be looking to score the French team’s fifth consecutive win in Sweden.


"I feel confident in Sweden, even if the stages are rather quick in places," Gronholm said. "Our result in Monte Carlo was quite encouraging. It allowed us to see that the 307 WRC is both competitive and reliable. Judging by the way our pre-event testing went, I am very optimistic for Sweden."


Peugeot team boss Corrado Provera said: "Our pre-Swedish testing was very positive and Marcus now knows that the car is competitive and apparently reliable. But we mustn't take anything for granted and we go to Sweden in all due humility."


The 307 WRCs will use four- rather than five-speed gearboxes in Sweden. Peugeot team director Jean-Pierre Nicolas said the five-speed unit would require several months of further development.


Meanwhile, Panizzi has told his fans not to expect too much from the Mitsubishi team this weekend. The 38-year-old Frenchman has only contested the Swedish Rally once, in 2002, and the event will only be the Lancer WRC04's second event.


"It's difficult for the engineers to improve the car or to adapt to different solutions for this event. I think if we could finish the Monte Carlo (last weekend), we can finish the Swedish Rally, though,” the Frenchman said.


"Mexico will probably see the beginning of the advancements in the car. We have more time, one month, and two big gravel tests before then; that's important for us and we need that time."


Kristian Sohlberg, who finished 12th overall in the team’s WRC2 car last year, will partner Panizzi in Sweden.

Original article from Car