Block Fights Back On Day 2 Of 100 Acre Wood But The Day Ends Early With A Mechanical Dnf

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.

Block And Gelsomino Spend Majority Of Day 1 Of 100 Acre Wood Leading The Field

 

After a successful test prior to the start of this year’s Rally America Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino prepared themselves for the worst. While typically 100 Acre Wood is one of their favorite events due to the fast, sweeping gravel roads, weather in rural Missouri decided to be unfavorable to all competitors at the last minute, as the area of the rally was hit hard with a freezing rain/snow storm the day before the event. This meant that for the second time this year, the entire Rally America entry field would be competing on snow without studded tires.

Despite the weather handicap—and drawing first on the road, which means sweeping/plowing it for the rest of the field—Block managed to put the hammer down immediately from the start of SS1. After the first five stages of day 1, the HRD duo were sitting in 1st place overall, with an 18-second lead over the nearest competitor. Unfortunately during SS6, Block came over a blind crest and hit a large patch of sheet ice that offered zero traction (due to studded race tires not being allowed) which sent him on an off-road adventure into a fence. After getting back on the road, the car was deemed unfit to attempt the final stage of the night, SS7, so the pair retired to return for Saturday’s final stages under SuperRally rules.

“I’m really disappointed with how things went during day 1,” said Block. “This is my favorite event of the year and it’s a rally that I typically run very well at. We drew a bad road position for this freak snowstorm race, but despite that, managed to take some time out of the competition and build ourselves up a nice little lead. Unfortunately I got caught out by a huge patch of ice and we lost time trying to get back on the road and then finish the stage. We also got hit with a 5-minute penalty for missing the last stage since the car needed to be repaired. It sucks, but that’s how rally goes sometimes. Hopefully we can get back out on Saturday and make our way back to the podium.”

To see if Block and Gelsomino can get back on pace at 100 Acre Wood and make it to the podium, be sure to follow along here, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.