Ken Block Podiums In Global Rallycross Washington D.C. And Further Extends Championship Points Lead

Ken Block extended his lead in the 2015 Global Rallycross Championship this weekend by taking third overall during the seventh (of 12) round of the season, which took place in Washington, D.C. The finish brings his lead in the points standings to 41 ahead of second place and is Block’s fifth podium finish of the championship thus far.

Friday’s Practice and Qualifying sessions saw Block slightly off his normal rallycross pace, as he and HRD worked to find a suspension setup that worked for the track in Washington, D.C., which was located adjacent to RFK Stadium. In the end, Block qualified mid-pack in 7th. He then went on to end Friday’s race activities with a 4th place finish in Heat 1.

Saturday saw Block back on his usual pace, having finally found a car setup that worked for both himself and the track in Washington. Heat 2 however, was a very intense outing, with Sebastian Erikkson utilizing Block’s rear bumper as a braking zone coming out of the joker when Erikkson misjudged his braking. While the impact didn’t cause too much damage to Block’s car, it did throw off his pace slightly. It was a moot issue however due to a red flag that popped out later in the heat due to Patrik Sandell being spun out and stalled in the middle of a corner.

The re-start to finish the Heat was favorable for Block, which he almost won until the final corner where he was pushed wide from the inside by fellow Ford driver Nelson Piquet Jr. This move sent Block towards the wall, forcing him to back off and sending him into almost a “tank slapper,” which he ultimately recovered from. Unfortunately, during the time where Block was trying to keep the car out of the wall, both Piquet Jr. and Patrik Sandell got by, leaving Block to take third overall in Heat 2.

Block’s Semi-Final went much smoother than his second Heat, comparatively cruising on through to a second place finish. The Final saw Block starting back further on the Grid than he would have liked, but he made due and before the first lap was completed he had worked his way into third overall, a position he was able to hold and defend for the entirety of the 10 lap Final.

“This was a tough weekend for me,” said Block. “I struggled with setup initially so that was really frustrating, but I knew I’d be ok once we got into the actual racing. But, my qualifying was off so that hurt us a bit in terms of my position on the starting grid. However, despite all of the insanity that happened in my second heat today I managed to drive hard and smartly and worked myself into another podium, which is awesome. Overall, I’m really stoked that I was able to extend my lead in the championship here this weekend. It’s a long championship and I am right where I want to be right now."

Blocks’ next race is GRC Los Angeles, taking place the weekend of September 12th.

Block Suffers Tough Call At Grc Detroit 2

HRD’s Ken Block set out to double down on Saturday’s win during part one of the Detroit double-header GRC weekend with a follow-up performance during Sunday’s part two race. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out as he had hoped.

Block was the top qualifier during open qualifying and then was 5th fastest during the knockout top-6 qualifying session thereafter due to a differential issue in his drivetrain. Block then took 3rd in his heat, followed by placing 2nd in his Semi-Final. This put him on the second row of the starting grid for the Final, which he started in P4. When the final started, Block got off to a solid start and made it successfully through turn 1 in 3rd position overall. However, heading down the straight into the split between the joker and the main course, Block got caught up in an unavoidable racing incident that took place in front of him, which forced him into a contact situation that he couldn’t avoid.

The situation was competitors Patrik Sandell and Scott Speed (fighting for 1st overall ahead of Block), coming into contact with each other approaching the joker split. The contact by Speed into Sandell forced Sandell to brake earlier than normal in order to safely make the joker entrance. This early braking occurred as Block was immediately behind Sandell, forcing Block’s front right bumper into unavoidable contact with Sandell’s left rear bumper. This then put Sandell into a slide, which led to him making contact with the tire wall, which he recovered from and continued to race. A lap later, a red flag was called, which led to a re-start of the final. At the time of the red flag, Block was in 1st overall. During the red flag, race officials decided to slap Block with a heavy penalty that sent him to the very back of the starting grid. While Block managed to finish 7th overall after the re-start.

“I’m disappointed in the way the race officials handled the racing incident on Sunday during the final,” said Block. “Myself and my team, as well as fellow GRC racers, have reviewed the footage and we feel that the incident ahead of me was caused by aggressive driving by another driver to which I could not react to quickly enough. So, my contact with Patrik was a non-malicious racing incident, simple as that. I’m battling for a Championship and this was a huge setback—I missed out on a ton of points because of a judgment call by an official and I do not agree with that call at all."

Ken Block Wins Grc Detroit #1, Improves Overall Lead In Championship Points

Detroit, MI: Seven days ago, Ken Block took 2nd overall at the New England Forest Rally. Today, Block hit the Global Rallycross track in Detroit and won the event outright, marking his third win of the 2015 GRC season, increasing his overall Championship Points lead and also becoming the most-winning driver in GRC history, now with a total of six total race wins.

A double-header event, Detroit #1 was an exciting event from the start. Forced to skip the qualifying session due to jump repair issues, the event seeded drivers based on their Championship Points standing. With Block heading into the event sitting first-overall, he was seeded P1 for his First Heat. Block proceeded to win his Heat cleanly and maintain that P1 positioning for his Semi-Final. Block then won his Semi-Final as well, securing P1 for the starting grid of the Final.

In the Final, Block had a strong launch, but was forced to concede the lead in Turn One due to overcooking the turn slightly. However, he slotted into 2nd place and focused on running smart and building upon his points lead in the Championship. Lap 7 of 10 saw fellow Ford driver, Patrick Sandell, who was in the lead, suffer a mechanical issue, which Block capitalized on. With three laps to go, Block got ahead and drove his Ford Fiesta ST RX43 fast and out front all the way across finish line.

“I’m stoked about winning today’s race in Detroit,” said Block. “This is a home event for one of my top sponsors, Ford, so it’s awesome to be able to win here in front of all of the Ford employees that came out to watch. I came into this event with a lead in the points and my only goal was to maintain and build upon that. Fortunately for myself, I built upon that in the best way possible with a 1st place finish! Now I’ve gotta get focused on starting all over again tomorrow when we do the second part of this double-header weekend here in Detroit and focus on continuing to build my points.”

Block races again tomorrow at Detroit #2 where he’ll try and continue to build upon his winning streak and further his lead in the Championship Points standings.

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.