After a tumultuous weekend of ups and downs, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino successfully completed the third stop of the Rally America championship, Oregon Trail Rally, finishing second overall.
The HRD duo got off to a rough start during Friday night’s opening stages when midway through SS3, their Ford Fiesta HFHV lost the front passenger side wheel due to a freak mechanical failure. Despite missing a wheel, Block and Gelsomino pushed on and finished day one in fourth overall.
Saturday’s day two stages got off to a better start, with Block winning the opening stage of the day. However, on the next stage Block suffered a rear driveshaft failure, forcing him to take a more restrained pace during the remainder of the morning stages until he made it to service. Immediately after service, Block won another stage, but suffered a tire puncture, which was followed by another tire puncture on the following stage. After coming in for the third and final service of the day and going back out, Block and Gelsomino were midway through SS11 when they had an impact with a large, immovable rock in the middle of the stage—which race leader David Higgins also hit—causing both drivers to cautiously finish SS11 and SS12.
Sunday’s racing went better for the HRD teammates and despite suffering their third puncture of the rally, they won all of Sunday’s stages.
“This rally was crazy for us,” said Block. “I want to say that I had a lot of bad luck because we lost that wheel, broke a driveshaft, hit a massive rock that did some damage and suffered three separate punctures, but at the same time we still finished second overall, which is a great result. Hopefully when we’re out at STPR at the end of the month, things will go a lot smoother for us.”
Block’s next competitive event is RallyCross at Global X Games Barcelona, taking place on Sunday, May 19th.