After having led the day 1 stages of Rally of the 100 Acre Wood until an ice-covered off during SS6 on Friday night, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino entered back into the rally under SuperRally rules on Saturday morning with one goal: Working their way back up through the pack to make the podium and score championship points.
Having previously won 100 Acre Wood the last six times he’d entered, Block’s entire focus for this year’s rally was to extend that streak to seven wins. Despite having been in first on day 1 prior to his off, first seemed highly unlikely after having to re-enter the rally under SuperRally rules. But second place was within reach and Block hit the stages on Saturday morning with determination in his eyes. But, with one mile left to go on SS10, Block’s car had an issue with the throttle. The gas pedal was no longer responding (a $0.50 part broke) and he was forced to pull over and retire from the rally.
“I’m gutted over having to retire from this rally,” said Block. “This is my favorite race of the year and I’ve historically done very well here. The freak snow/ice storm already sort of screwed things up for me a bit, but to then have a mechanical issue as I was clawing my way back into podium position today? Gutted is the only word I can find to describe the feeling. But, on the flip side, I’ve had six very good weekends here in the past and if it means that once every seven times I have to have a bad one, I’ll take those odds.”
While Block didn’t have the result he wanted, he’s not letting it slow him down. Next week he’ll be in Adelaide, Australia, performing Gymkhana demos during the Clipsal 500 motorsports weekend. For his next competitive event, follow Block as he returns to one of his favorite WRC rounds, WRC Mexico, March 8-10.