“And the doctor said to me that they would pay me 15,000 Finnish marks because the injury could have affected how I lived.
“I got that money and bought my first rally car, the Escort with the money! So, it started with an accident but, I dunno, every cloud, I found the good in the bad situation.
“That’s how it all started: in 1987, I did my first rally! It was a junior class national rally in Finland, and I was driving an old, old, Ford Escort, a 1.3-liter Mk1 Escort.
“The rally was not so far away from my home, maybe 30km [18.6 miles] but it was a small, small rally and it went quite well because I won my class, the 1.3-liter and third overall in the junior class, so it was quite a good start I would say.”
From then on, it was a case of no looking back for Grönholm who made his WRC debut just two years later on Rally Finland, driving a Lancia Delta Integrale and finishing 23rd. In the space of three years, Grönholm had vaulted from a one-off appearance in the co-driver’s seat to a fully-fledged entry on his home event of the world championship, showing a fair amount of promise in doing so.