Block And M-Sport Have Successful Outing At Nefr With Ford Fiesta Hfhv, R5 2ltr And R2 1ltr Cars

The 2015 Rally America New England Forest Rally was a successful event for both Ken Block and his Hoonigan Racing Division, as well as for Block’s motorsports partner, M-Sport. In addition to Ken Block and his Ford Fiesta HFHV racing at NEFR, M-Sport (the entity in the UK that produces the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Block’s RX43 rallycross car, that supplied the chassis for Block’s HFHV, etc.) brought out two of their newest stage rally racecars to race the event as well: The Ford Fiesta R5 2LTR and the Ford Fiesta R2 1LTR.

The R5 2LTR is an all-new take on the already successful R5 program that M-Sport runs. The idea behind the car is to take an R5 (which itself is an all wheel-drive, 1.6 liter turbocharged rally car) and stuff it with a turbocharged 2.0 liter motor that allows it to fit within the regulations of most national championship open car classifications (such as Rally America, or the New Zealand national championship). The R2 1LTR builds upon the previous R2, but uses the turbocharged 1 liter, 3-cylinder motor from the base Ford Fiesta with a significant bump in power.

Both cars had hugely successful outings for their first time on US soil, with the R5 (piloted by Ramana Lagemann) racking up numerous top-five stage finishes and proving itself as a highly competitive option for drivers. Had the R5 not had to re-enter on Day 2 under Super Rally rules due to breaking a suspension component during the Day 1 stages, it would have easily challenged for a podium spot. The R2 (piloted by Brendan Reeves) had an even better showing, with a 1st overall finish in the 2wd category and a 6th overall finish for the entire event.

Both cars demonstrate great promise for the future of stage rally and offer a turnkey solution for racers that are looking for a competent and competitive setup. HRD’s Ken Block himself is also a huge fan of the all-new R5 2LTR car, having back-to-backed it prior to NEFR against his Ford Fiesta HFHV. To see how that turned out, check the video below.

Ken Block and M-Sport at New England Forest Rally 2015

Had a great time at Rally America’s New England Forest Rally this past weekend. Even though we didn’t get the result we were hoping for, 2nd place is great considering this was my first time back here since 2013! AND it was absolutely awesome to see M-Sport bring out both the Ford Fiesta R5 2ltr and the Ford Fiesta R2 1ltr - both of which really showed their potential at the hands of Ramana Lagemann and Brendan Reeves. Check out this quick recap video from the rally - see the sights and hear the sounds of three purpose-built stage rally beasts.

Posted by Ken Block on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ken Block Finishes 2nd Overall At New England Forest Rally Despite Mechanical Issues

Sunday River, ME: Ken Block headed into the 2015 New England Forest Rally with the goal of defending his win from the last time he competed at the event in 2013. Unfortunately for Block, that wasn’t meant to be this past weekend due to a series of small engine issues that plagued him throughout the weekend. Despite the engine woes, Block still managed to pull off a very respectable 2nd overall finish, along with a few stage wins.

Day 1’s stages saw Block lose time to the top end of the field because of the aforementioned engine trouble. Fortunately, there were only three total Stages on Day 1, limiting Block’s deficit to 1st place at only 33 seconds overall.

Day 2 saw Block strike back with a Stage win on SS4. During SS6, Block had an off due to a mistake in his notes. From the off, the only functional damage to the car—oddly enough—was a broken throttle pedal and Block had to nurse the car to the end of the stage. Fortunately for Block, fellow competitor and friend, Brendan Reeves, was able to help him partially repair the throttle pedal with zip ties prior to the start of SS7. Block then successfully finished SS7 and went on to rack up a Stage win on SS8, despite having to race with the broken—and then zip tied repaired—throttle pedal.

“It’s definitely been a disappointing weekend for me,” said Block. “We came out here straight off a solid two days of testing and feeling really good. Unfortunately, we had some engine issues that robbed us of power and caused us to give up a lot of time on the Day 1 stages. We came back on Day 2 and thought we’d sorted everything out, but apparently we still had a gremlin or two and were still a bit down on power. Despite that, we pulled off two stage wins today, which was actually surprising and we’re happy with that! Things didn’t go as planned, but hey, that’s racing and I do appreciate coming away with 2nd place.”

Block’s next competitive event will be this coming weekend in Detroit for a Global Rallycross double-header.

Ken Block Benchmarks The New M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 Against His Hfhv

Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta HFHV is an incredible rally car that was built off of the M-Sport WRC Ford Fiesta and designed from the start to be the ultimate “Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle.” That means it can do stage rally, it can do rallycross and it can also do Gymkhana. However, it’s a design that’s a few years old and a car that has a fair bit of stage miles on the chassis. Despite these factors though, it’s still one of the top Open Class cars in the Rally America series.
M-Sport’s all-new Ford Fiesta R5 2ltr is related to Block’s HFHV in the sense that both were originally derived from M-Sport’s WRC Ford Fiesta chassis. However, it’s been designed to fit within the Open Class racing regulations of most national championships (such as Rally America or the New Zealand national championship). The goal of the R5 2ltr is to offer a rally car that can compete at the top level of a national championship, as well as make that top level performance accessible to drivers with a product that’s turnkey, versus racers having to “home brew” their own solutions to the Open Class regulations. The car is also more affordable to race by the utilization of off-the-shelf factory parts for a reduced operating cost (for an example, the alternator on Block’s HFHV is a $5,000 USD part, and the alternator on the R5 2ltr is a mere $500 since it’s an off-the-shelf Ford part).
During his pre-Rally America New England Forest Rally testing, Block was able to take both his HFHV and the new R5 2ltr out on the stage roads of the Team O’Neil rally school in New Hampshire and benchmark them back to back. Curious to see the results? (they’re closer than you’d think) Check out the video of the test below.

Ken Block's custom Ford Fiesta HFHV vs M-Sport's Ford Fiesta R5...

Earlier this week my team and I did a timed performance comparison between my Ford Fiesta HFHV (my custom built and very developed rally/RX/gymkhana car I've been running since 2011) and M-Sport's new Ford Fiesta R5 2 liter: a turnkey top-level national stage rally car that's much cheaper to buy, run, and service, but still retains performance not far off of a modern WRC Fiesta. We wanted to see how fast it was compared to my older car - so we put both through their paces at the Team O'Neil Rally School. Check out this video to see how they compare!

Posted by Ken Block on Friday, July 17, 2015

Block And Gelsomino Ready And Aiming To Win Thier Third Stage Rally Of 2015

Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino testing Block’s HFHV rally car at Team O’Neil Rally School in New Hampshire
Ken Block takes Mr. Henry Ford III, aka the great great grandson of Henry Ford - the founder of Ford Motor Company on his first ever ride in a rally car. Henry came out to the Team O'Neil Rally School to get a closer look at what rally is all about. I was more than happy to show him from behind the wheel of my Ford Fiesta HFHV. His direct quote: "Honestly there are no words to describe what I just felt".
Ken Block puts the HFHV through its paces with Alex Gelsomino at Team O’Neil Rally School prior to NEFR 2015
Ken Block gave some rides to three big names from Ford Performance today at the Team O'Neil Rally School. From top to bottom: Henry Ford III, Dave Pericak (head of Ford Performance), and Mark Rushbrook (Ford motorsports engineer).
Ken Block takes a few runs in the Ford Fiesta R5 2 liter from M-Sport. Half the cost of a WRC car, and nearly as fun.

This weekend, HRD’s Ken Block heads into his third stage rally of the 2015 season, Rally America’s New England Forest Rally. NEFR is an event that KB last entered in 2013—which he also happened to win. He also enters the event coming off of a string of Global Rallycross rounds where he finds himself currently leading the championship in points with two overall wins, as well as an additional podium finish.

In addition to his rallycross successes this season, Block has participated in two stage rallies so far in 2015, both which were rounds of the New Zealand national championship: Rally Whangarei and Rally Otago. Block took the overall win at Whangarei, and was on pace to repeat that result in Otago prior to a mechanical failure with his car that killed that opportunity. However, he did manage to come back and win the second day of stages at Otago.

“I’m excited to be returning to NEFR this weekend,” said Block. “I’ve been having a great season so far and while I haven’t been doing as much stage rally as I’d like, I’ve had good results and I feel great in the car. We did two days of testing at Team O’Neil rally school this week alongside M-Sport and their new Ford Fiesta R5 2ltr rally car and between hopping in and out of both that car and my Ford Fiesta HFHV, I feel that my car is running perfectly. I’ve got my settings dialed and that I’m ready to get out on these forest stages here in Maine and go after another win.”

To see how Block does this weekend, make sure to follow along here, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Ken Block Wins Global Rallycross Round 4 And Takes The Championship Lead

Jacksonville, NC: Ken Block arrived to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina, intent on regaining the Global Rallycross Championship points lead—which he did, by winning the fourth round of the 2015 calendar.

At .993 miles, the course setup at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, was the longest on the calendar for the 2015 season. A mixture of runways and dirt, the course didn’t exactly suit Block’s driving style, but he found the speed he needed to bring home the win.

Block started the racing on Sunday with a difficult First Heat where he had a bad launch off the starting line, forcing him to have to fight his way into a decent position. Fortunately, he was able to do so with some good passes and finished the First Heat in third. However, his Second Heat didn’t go as smoothly, with Block sustaining a big hit from fellow racer Tanner Foust, which broke part of Block’s rear suspension. He was able to carry on and finish the Heat, but with a dismal result.

The result of the Heats put Block on the second row of the starting grid for his Semi-Final. Block managed to storm through the Semi though, including putting down a tough pass on fellow Ford racer Steve Arpin in the last lap, pushing Block into first place across the finish line of the Semi and onto the front of the starting grid for the final.

In the final, Block had a terrible launch off the line and immediately fell from the front of the pack to the very back. But, he got going quickly and started working on making up lost positioning. Five laps in, Block had managed to work up through the rest of the field to find himself sitting in third overall. However, the race was red flagged due to a crash, forcing a restart.

The restart proved beneficial for Block. Starting again sitting P2 on the starting grid, Block nailed his launch, heading into the first corner in the lead, which he maintained throughout the duration of the 4-lap restart final all the way to the checkered flag.

“This was a wild race for me today,” said Block. “I had a strange mix of highs and lows but I’m stoked with the end result. During the first part of the final, I was actually just really excited to have worked my way into third overall, since I’d had a terrible launch and I’m focused on the championship points. However, that restart proved beneficial for me. I managed to absolutely nail my launch, get in front of everyone and stay there. I’m walking away from this race with the points lead in the championship, which is awesome. I’m really stoked to be able to bring home my second win of the season and be first overall in points.”

Block’s next competitive event will take him back to stage rally, this time at Rally America’s New England Forest Rally, taking place July 17th and 18th in Newry, Maine.

Block Smokes Out The Goodwood Festival Of Speed 2015

Ken Block with his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR
Ken Block tears up Lord March’s Goodwood estate in a 2016 Ford Focus RS
Ken Block Lord March and Kimi Raikkonen at Goodwood festival of Speed 2015
Ken Block performs donuts in his Hoonicorn RTR on the Goodwood Estate grounds at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015
Lord March and Ken Block sit for tea at the Goodwood estate during Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015

After a four-year hiatus, Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block returned to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The world famous event, hosted by Lord March who happens to own the Goodwood property, is a yearly car concours show where a lot of the amazing cars get to drive and race up Lord March’s personal hill climb road (which is actually his driveway). For 2015, Block headed out with his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR and the all-new 2016 Ford Focus RS. The event marked only the second time that Block's Hoonicorn had been driven for the public and the first time that the public had been able to see the Focus RS in action in public.

In true Hoonicorn fashion, Block tore up the tarmac (and some of Lord March's grass alongside the track) in his Mustang for the fans at Goodwood, and also pushed the new RS to the limits as he continually stepped the tail out, highlighting the all wheel-drive system that the RS will be coming with.

"I had an awesome time at Goodwood this year," said Block. I hadn't made it out in a few years due to schedule conflicts and I'd been missing it. The event is such a great mix of motorsport personalities, amazing old and new cars and knowledgable fans. The posh English setting is a nice bonus, too! But, I really enjoyed running up the hill in my Hoonicorn and the new Focus RS. I think the fans enjoyed it too! I even was able to give a ride to Lord March himself on Sunday morning in the Hoonicorn, he seemed pretty stoked about it! Hopefully I'll be able to return next summer."

Ken Block Takes Second At Round Three Of The 2015 Global Rallycross Championship In Daytona

Ken Block takes second place at GRC Round 3 in Daytona, FL.
Ken Block leads the pack in Daytona, Florida
Ken Block mid-air at GRC Round 3 in Daytona, FL
Block finishes the final on three wheels, securing championship points.
Ken Block in the lead at Global Rallycross in Daytona
Roncar photo documenting the intense weather at GRC Daytona 2015
Head Hoonigan Ken Block leads the pack at GRC Daytona
Ken Block's flame thrower, the Ford Fiesta ST RX43
Ken Block 43 signs autographs for fans at Global Rallycross Daytona
After enduring cockpit temperatures of 140º F in the racecar, Ken Block takes his trophy straight to his kids' pool at the team service area after GRC Round 3 in Daytona, Florida.

Daytona Beach, FL: Straight off a weekend of demos in South Africa, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block headed into Daytona Beach, Florida, for Rounds Two and Three of the 2015 Global Rallycross Championship. While he placed 8th overall in the final on Saturday’s Round Two event—a feat accomplished on three wheels after a racing incident that sent him backwards into a tire wall—he bounced back with a vengeance during Sunday’s Round Three and put himself once again on the podium for the second time of the season, adding to the points he racked up with his win in Ft. Lauderdale with a second place finish during Sunday’s Round Three event.

On Saturday, Block qualified second overall, won both of his Heats and won his Semi-final during Saturday’s Round Two event. This led to him starting the Saturday Final sitting P2 on the start grid. Coming out of the first turn, he was able to make a move for first place, which lasted all-too-briefly, when fellow Ford driver, Patrick Sandell and Block came together down the straight, sending both into spins with Block ending his going backwards into a tire barrier. While Block’s car was damaged, he was able to press on and finish the Final—even despite losing his right rear tire and having to drive on three wheels—to rack up some points towards his championship chase.

Sunday, however, was a better day for Block. While he qualified 2nd fastest-overall, he was unable to participate in GRC’s new “knockout” qualifying session (that takes the six top qualifiers and pits them against each other in yet a further qualifying session) due to a mechanical issue. Despite the setback and a less than-ideal grid position, Block took second in his Heat and then proceeded to come away off a first-place finish in his Semi-final, securing P2 on the Finals grid for the second time in two days. For the Final, Block did what he had to do to fight for a podium position, finding himself in second place by the middle of the first lap and maintaining that to the end of the Final.

“This was a crazy race weekend for me,” said Block. “The heat out here in Daytona was intense, temps inside the car reached almost 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so that was definitely an extra challenge this weekend! Saturday was going really well up until 15 seconds into the final when Patrick [Sandell] and I had our contact. I was able to still drive pretty hard and cross the finish line to get some points, but I was definitely disappointed. Fortunately, Sunday went way better for me and I was able to avoid too much contact out there, find relatively clean air and bring home my second podium of the season with a second place finish.”

With his 8th place finish during Round Two and his 2nd place finish during Round Three, Block now sits 2nd overall in the Global Rallycross Championship points standings. Block’s next event is the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he’ll be doing demo runs in both his Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR from Gymkhana SEVEN, as well as the all-new Ford Focus RS, taking place June 26th, 27th and 28th.

Ken Block Teams Up With "Clarkson, Hammond And May Live!" In South Africa

Ken Block is a featured guest star with former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May at their new live roadshow "Clarkson, Hammond and May LIVE!" at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2015.
Hoonicorn RTR on the painted surface at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2015 during "Clarkson, Hammond and May LIVE!"
Ken Block racing "scooter-charriots" with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May at CHM LIVE!
Ken Block plays car soccer at CHM LIVE in a Ford Ka
Ken Block pilots his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR across the painted concrete surface of the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg South Africa during his featured appearances at CHM LIVE!

Coming off of Summer X Games 2015, HRD's Ken Block immediately boarded a plane and headed straight to Johannesburg, South Africa, to team up with the Clarkson Hammond and May LIVE! roadshow. A multi-stop world tour for the former Top Gear hosts, the three automotive icons invited Block to join them on the stage in South Africa as a featured part of their show.

For Block, it was his first-ever visit to the continent of Africa and also marked the first-ever public running of his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR from Gymkhana SEVEN. Block ran the car two-times per show (2 shows per day across 3 days) and absolutely wowed the sold-out crowds every show.

"I had an absolute blast in Johannesburg performing with the boys at Clarkson Hammond and May LIVE!," said Block. "It's always fun for me to work with that trio and to be able to do so while also running my Hoonicorn RTR from Gymkhana SEVEN? That was a real treat. Plus, the fans in South Africa are so wildly passionate about hooning and motorsport. The response from the crowds during the shows was epic, they definitely helped make the experience for me!"

Aside from running his Hoonicorn during an introduction piece and in a Gymkhana segment against the three presenters, Block also participated in a "scooter chariot" racing segment as well as a finale segment of car soccer where he piloted a Ford Ka on a team representing South Africa against Jeremy, Richard and James, scoring numerous goals and leading his team to victory every show.

X Games Austin Rallycross

Ken Block takes the the jump during his first heat at X Games 2015.
Ken Block prepares to run his Ford Fiesta ST RX43 at X Games Austin 2015.
Ken Block experiences a sudden, front drive shaft failure with the checkered flag in view, ending his race at X Games Austin 2015.

X Games 2015 saw HRD's Ken Block returning to Austin, Texas, in his quest for an X Games gold medal to add to his three bronze and two silver already sitting at home. Unfortunately for Block, it wasn't meant to be this year. With a very aggressive knockout format for the race in order to make it to the final, the setup was as follows: three separate heats, winner of each heat advances directly to the final, second and third in the heat move to a Last Chance Qualifier, fourth and beyond go home. 

Block had a great 6 lap heat until the final corner with the checkered flag literally in sight. Due to incidental contact earlier in the race, Block suffered a front drive shaft failure in the middle of the last turn, which then sent 600 horsepower unexpectedly to the rear wheels and thus threw him into a spin. This moved him from a solid second place finish (which would have advanced him to the LCQ), down to fourth, just outside of making the cut.

“Of course I'm disappointed in how the race went for me," said Block. "Obviously we come here with the goal of walking away with gold, so to get knocked out immediately due to a mechanical issue is lame, especially as I was in a transfer position with the checkered flag in sight! But, that's how racing goes, one part failure can and cost you everything.”

Ken Block Wins Round 1 Of The 2015 Global Rallycross Championship In Ft. Lauderdale, Now Leading The Series In Points


Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Ken Block arrived to Florida for the first round of the 2015 Global Rallycross Championship season with one mission: starting the year with a solid race that would help lay the foundation for him to try and win the championship. After two days of very fast driving in the heat of Florida, he did more than just that and kicked off his 2015 season with a big win.

“I couldn’t be happier with my result this weekend,” said Block. “We put in a lot of hard work as a team in the pre-season and that paid off huge for us today. This style of track didn’t really play into my strengths as a driver, but I was able to work with my team to get the car to the right place and overcome what I felt was a deficit on my end. I pulled something off here that I wasn’t fully sure I’d be able to, so I’m absolutely stoked with the result and to be leaving here leading the series in the points standing.”

Block started the event well, being 2nd fastest overall in practice on Saturday morning and getting through the first Heat of the event Saturday afternoon. Block then hit the circuit again Sunday morning for his second Heat of the event where he placed 2nd, which set him up for position two on the front row of his Semi-Final. In the Semi-Final, Block outdrove the competition with some deft maneuvering and tight lines, winning the Semi and securing Pole Position for the starting grid of the afternoon’s Final.

In the Final, Block had a quick launch and immediately targeted the Joker Lap on his first pass. Making it through the Joker safely, Block had open air ahead of him and began to work on breaking away from the remainder of the pack. During the 10 lap final, Block continued to put speed between himself and the rest of the field, hammering it completely down on his fourth lap, where he set the fastest lap time of the event with a 29.9 second pass. Block stormed on to win the Final, starting the first round of the 2015 Global Rallycross Championship in the best way possible.

Block’s next competitive event will be the weekend of June 6th in Austin, Texas, at Summer X Games.