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Ken Block's 2016 Fia World Rallycross Competition Car Announced By Ford Performance

Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud - Ford Focus RS RX sideview
Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud - Ford Focus RS RX front view

MEDIA ALERT:::
The below press release was sent out by Ford Performance earlier today, helping announce the all new Ford Focus RS RX rallycross car that Hoonigan Racing Division drivers Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud will be competing in during the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship season. Additionally, Block will be using this car for Gymkhana NINE, dropping later this year. For more details and information, check it out below.

Focus RS Confirmed by Ford Performance for Competition in 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship

  • Ford Focus RS will make its competition debut as Ford’s factory entry in 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship
  • Ken Blocks Hoonigan Racing Division will field two Focus RS race cars to build on the performance marque’s championship legacy
  • World Rallycross Championship race car based on all-new global 2016 Ford Focus RS featuring advanced Ford Performance torque vectoring all-wheel drive
  • Ken Block will be joined by Andreas Bakkerud as his teammate for 2016

DEARBORN, Michigan, March 2, 2016 – Ford’s RS competition legacy continues this season for a new generation of motorsports fans.

Teased at the conclusion of Ken Block’s Gymkhana EIGHT released earlier this week, Ford Performance confirms Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division team will field two factory-supported 2016 Ford Focus RS race cars in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

“RS is a worldwide brand with a rich heritage that motorsports enthusiasts know and love,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “Our RS badge has a natural connection to racing, and we have a passionate, dedicated team on the project. We’re excited to honor the history of Rallye Sport by pushing every aspect of performance and design to the limit.” 

For more than 50 years, Ford Performance’s Rallye Sport badge has been reserved for racing and production vehicles that push the limits of performance and innovation. Known for aggressive design and pioneering technology, Ford vehicles wearing the RS badge have seen success for decades in stage rally series including winning participation in FIA World Rally Championship with drivers like Björn Waldegård, Marcus Grönholm, Mikko Hirvonen and Colin McRae. 

The Focus RS build is a global collaboration between Ford Performance, Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division and U.K.-based M-Sport. Featuring all-wheel drive, a new EcoBoost® engine producing 600 horsepower, and a 0-60-mph launch time of less than two seconds, Ford Focus RS Rallycross cars are optimized for competition. 

Mark Rushbrook, motorsports engineering manager, Ford Performance, says the intention has been to develop a Rallycross car that lives up to the RS badge. 

“We’ve dedicated the same level of cutting-edge tools, technical resources and engineering know-how from our Le Mans GT and NASCAR programs, and working with M-Sport brings renowned expertise in rallycross and stage rally vehicle development,” said Rushbrook. “Ken, Andreas Bakkerud and Hoonigan Racing give us insight from the competition and driver perspectives. Our three organizations have a great working relationship, and we’re all looking forward to seeing the Focus RS in action.” 

"I'm really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance," said Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block. "To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible. It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. Plus, have you seen the car that they've created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me in Dearborn a few months ago. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing." 

Malcolm Wilson, OBE, managing director for M-Sport, believes that together, they’ve produced a very special race car. “Working closely with our colleagues at Ford Performance and Hoonigan Racing Division, a huge amount of work has gone into this project,” he said. “It’s been an extremely exciting, rewarding venture – one we hope yields considerable success. I’m confident we have a winning formula for the season ahead.” 

A Ford driven by Ford-Autocraft employee Brian Melia was at the birth of rallycross in February 1967 – his Lotus Cortina finishing second in the Lydden Hill event created especially for ITV’s “World of Sport”. The BBC adopted rallycross later that year and the sport’s future was assured, with the first British Rallycross Championship won by Tony Chappell in a factory-prepared Ford Escort Twin Cam in 1968. 

The Focus RS Rallycross cars will debut at the FIA World Rallycross event in Portugal, April 15-17, with Block and Bakkerud behind the wheel. The global 12-race series takes place in 11 countries on three continents. 

Additional information on the race cars and their development will be coming ahead of the Portugal race.

 

Gymkhana EIGHT video:

 

RS Anthem video:

Award Season For Block

Ken Block receives awards from Autoweek and Motor Trend

2015 was, as usual, an exceptionally busy year for HHIC, Ken Block. A season that saw him compete in the full Global Rallycross Championship (which he led in the points standings for the first 10 of 12 rounds and included three 1st place finishes and two other podiums), as well as competing in a handful of stage rally events, including two down in New Zealand (where Block brought home a 1st overall finish at Rally Whangarei). Additionally Block competed at summer X Games in Austin, TX, as well as at the Gymkhana GRID finale in Santa Pod, U.K.

To add to a diverse race program, Block also partook in a lot of marketing initiatives as well. Block helped headline the Clarkson Hammond and May LIVE! shows that took place in Johannesburg, S.A., he helped Need for Speed launch their latest game, he debuted a brand new car (his Gymkhana-focused Ford MkII Escort), he helped unveil the all-new, all wheel-drive, Ford Focus RS for Ford at their international launch event in Cologne, Germany—as well as putting it through the paces up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for Ford alongside his Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR from Gymkhana SEVEN.

Two separate magazines took notice of Block’s over-the-top and insane schedule and offered up acknowledgement for his impacts as an ambassador and advocate for car culture in 2015. First up, Block made Motortrend’s annual “Power List,” for 2015, clocking in at number 32 (up from 47 last year). Motortrend had this to say about Block:

“Block’s driving abilities are insane. But his impact on popular culture is the reason he’s here. Whether in his Gymkhana 850-hp all-wheel-drive ’65 Ford Mustang or during Global Rally Cross, this drifter has found his home as a Ford spokesman and YouTube sensation. His videos garner tens of millions of views. He recently partnered with Ford to help create the Focus RS. All of his skills are on display in a Ford-produced documentary about the car and Block. More important, he connects with a young audience that carmakers around the globe have had a tough time reaching. Block makes that as easy as doing donuts at a donut shop.” (Article here: http://www.motortrend.com/news/2016-power-list-and-the-person-of-the-year/)

Next up, Block took top honors from Autoweek to kick off 2016, leading the pack in their inaugural awards issue. Block was bestowed with their “Car Culture” award. They put it best by saying; “No one has done more to make car culture relevant to people young and old over the past decade.” And, while being exceptionally high praise, is also true. (Article here: http://autoweek.com/article/autoweek-awards/ken-block-2016-autoweek-car-culture-award)

“I’m pleased and blown away by the praise from both outlets in the last few months,” said Block. “I don’t wake up in the morning and set out to earn awards, I wake up and I look at how I can not only go and enjoy myself by being competitive on the track, but also how I can go and find unique, interesting and fun ways to play with my racecars. At the end of the day, we all got into this because we loved cars and we loved having fun with cars. Sometimes that means doing cool stuff off track in a non-competitive way, potentially very sideways and generating a lot of tire smoke. Ha! But it’s awesome to be recognized for being able to mix my personal goals with those of my partners, that feels really good.”

Block isn’t a stranger to receiving awards for his work on and off the track. He’s previously received multiple Golden Pencil awards for his Gymkhana series of viral videos, an “Automotive Inspiration” award from The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles for his contributions to car culture and has even landed “Most Thrilling Driver” awards (2) from the head of the Goodwood Estate, Lord March, in the U.K. during his appearances at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, along with a 40 Under 40 Award from Fortune Magazine earlier in his business career, etc.

Ken Block Partners With Mastercraft To Create A One-Off Wakeboard Boat For Summer 2015

When it came time for Ken Block to choose a boat for his summer boating needs, he had two requirements: for it to be the best wakeboard boat possible and for it to match his current racecars. A tall order, but something that Mastercraft was confident they could deliver upon.

So, for cruising with his family or making the ultimate waves while wakeboarding with his friends this summer, Block will be boating around his home state of Utah in a custom one-off Mastercraft X30 wakeboard boat. Designed to align with his current 2015 racecar livery, Block’s X30 has all of the great features that a normal X30 comes with, but also includes a unique exterior finish that incorporates Block’s “intergalactic” space theme from this season, as well as his signature 43 racing number. Additionally the boat features a blacked-out Zero-Flex Tower and custom-trimmed interior to match, all combining to make this one of the most unique boats on the water.

“I’m really happy with how this project turned out,” said Block. “I absolutely love boating on the lakes here in Utah with my family and I really enjoy wakeboarding. So, when it was time for me to get a new boat for this summer, we reached out to Mastercraft to see what could be done to make something that was unique but that utilized the X30. Mastercraft absolutely nailed the execution of my 2015 livery on this thing and the murdered out wake tower is a nice touch. It really helps tie the whole thing together when I’m towing it with my Ford Raptor, seeing it parked next to my Ford Fiesta ST RX43 rallycross competition car is a trip as well. I can’t wait to take it down to Lake Powell later this summer.”

PDF: KenBlock-MasterCraftX30_2015

Ken Block Partners With Global Leader Of Action Sports Support, Xdubai.

Adding to an already impressive lineup of sponsors and partners, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce the addition of another high-caliber sponsor, XDubai.

XDubai is the regional leader of the Middle East when it comes to action sports, both in terms of supporting events, challenges and athletes, as well as hosting events and activities. From skateboarders and their video projects to freestyle moto riders throwing down world-first triple backflips and from skydivers to guys with jet-powered wing suits strapped to their backs, XDubai positions itself front and center when it comes to supporting next-level innovations with both action- and extreme-sport athletes. With a goal of helping turn Dubai into the adrenaline capital of the world, today’s partnership with Ken Block helps solidify that mission.

“I’m really excited about this partnership,” said Block. “While we were in the initial discussions to make this deal possible, I took a trip to Dubai to learn more about XDubai and the city itself and I was blown away. It’s a hugely impressive city and it’s also known for being a massively progressive city in that region of the world. The team at XDubai absolutely gets what I do and what I’m about and, as I’m sure everyone knows, Dubai itself has a passion for all things automotive. I had a blast there, so I’m looking forward to heading back over. We’ve got some fun demo appearances planned for over there later in the year with my Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR from Gymkhana SEVEN.”

As a part of the sponsorship of Ken Block and his 2015 racing program, XDubai will host Block and his Hoonicorn RTR at the Dubai Motor Festival in November. It will officially be the first public appearances and driving demos by Block in the Middle East region, as well as the first appearance of his Hoonicorn. For more information on XDubai, visit: xdubai.com

Monster Energy And Ford Performance Team Up To Give Away Two Ford Focus Rs Cars... And More!

RS giveaway graphic

Ken Block’s two biggest sponsors, Monster Energy and Ford Performance have come together to create one of the biggest giveaways Block has been involved with: The “Ford Performance Ken Block Giveaway”. 

TWO grand prize winners will each take home one of only 2000 brand-new 2016 Ford Focus RSs, while FIVE first prize winners will take part in a driving experience with Block himself in Utah. Hundreds more prizes are available for those who enter. 

Check out https://www.monsterenergy.com/us/en/promotions/#!/promotions%3Aford-performance-ken-block-experience-sweepstakes-official-rules for more details, rules, and an entry form! Open to US citizens only.

Ken Block Announces His Action-Packed Schedule For 2015.

Ken Block's 2015 Livery
Ken and Yuki the Destroyer
KB in his 2015 suit and Yuki
Ken Block 2015 Race Schedule

2015 LIVERY LOOKBOOK: http://www.hooniganracing.com/media-upload/2015LiveryLOOKBOOK

VIDEO: http://youtu.be/BY6SFKPlTM0

2015 is set to be another exciting, action-packed and diverse race season for Ken Block as he once again has one of the most varying calendars in racing, traveling around the world and participating in everything from stage rally to X Games to rallycross to a handful of international Gymkhana demos.

The biggest part of 2015 will see Block competing once again in the Global Rallycross Championship. Having been the top average qualifier—as well as having won the most heats—winning two events and taking 2nd overall in the championship last year (and missing out on 1st by only 5 points), Block will be back again in the 12-round series looking to bring home the overall championship. 

Block will also be participating in X Games this summer, returning to the heat of Texas in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas while looking to add to his 5 previous X Games medals.

For stage rally action, Block will be heading down to New Zealand to compete in the first two rounds of the highly competitive New Zealand National Championship, which takes place on some of the greatest rally stages the planet has to offer. In addition to that, Block will be participating in two rounds of the Rally America Championship: New England Forest Rally and the Lake Superior Performance Rally. 

For NEFR, Block will also be working with U.K.-based M-Sport (the race team that runs the Ford Fiesta racecars in the World Rally Championship) to bring out two separate cars for the first time ever in America: M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta R5+ and their new Ford Fiesta R2 (featuring the 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine). Both cars are designed to be affordable rally racecar options for competitors and the goal of the joint venture is to demonstrate to the U.S. rally community how these cars perform on an actual rally. The cars will be raced by yet-to-be-determined guest drivers at NEFR.

“I’m getting to do some fun stage rally events this season, with two in America and two down in New Zealand on some of the greatest roads on the planet,” said Block. “While rallycross is more of my focus these days, I come from stage rally, so to be able to still do a few events for fun each year is hugely important to me.”

Rounding out 2015, Block will be participating in some Gymkhana-style events and running his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR in public demos for the first time ever. He’ll also be taking part in Monster Energy’s Gymkhana GRID European Finale and working on the next Gymkhana video in the hugely successful viral video series, Gymkhana EIGHT.

“I’m really excited about my race calendar for 2015,” said Block. “Just like last year, I feel really lucky to be able to have such a diverse race calendar. I’m looking forward to competing in the full GRC season again and going after that title. I only missed it by 5 points last season, so I’m confident that I’m the best contender for the title this year and I’ve been working my butt off with my team in the offseason so that we can have the best possible chances of taking it. I’m also going to get to run my 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR a few times as well for fans around the globe. Overall it’s going to be a great season, I can’t wait for it to get started.”

To see how Block does throughout his hectic 2015, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter by following @kblock43, as well as on Facebook at Facebook.com/KenBlockRacing.

BLOCK’S 2015 SCHEDULE:

GLOBAL RALLYCROSS:
- May 31, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- June 21, Daytona, FL
- July 5, U.S. Military Base (TBA)
- July 25, Detroit, MI
- July 26, Detroit, MI
- August 15, Washington, D.C.
- August 30, Seattle, WA
- September 12, Los Angeles, CA
- September 13, Los Angeles, CA
- October 3, Barbados
- October 4, Barbados
- November 4, Las Vegas, NV

X GAMES:
- June 4-7, Austin, TX

NEW ZEALAND RALLY:
- April 18-19, International Rally of Whangerei, New Zealand
- May 9-10, Rally Otago, New Zealand

RALLY AMERICA:
- July 17-18, New England Forest Rally
- October 16-17, Lake Superior Performance Rally

GYMKHANA:
- TBA, International Hoonicorn Gymkhana Demo
- October 10-11, Gymkhana GRID Europe Final, Athens, Greece
- TBA, Gymkhana EIGHT

Ken Block On Motor Trend’S 2015 Power List

What does Ken Block have in common with a famous comedian and a bunch of high-ranking suits in the auto industry? They’re all on Motor Trend’s 2015 Power List of “50 Leaders, Thinkers, and Agitators Shaping the Auto Industry”! In addition, Block is the only racecar driver on the entire list.

Coming in at #47 on the list, Motor Trend recognized Block for his work in continuing to bring rally, rallycross, and Gymkhana driving to light in America. Here’s what they had to say:

“No one can get America more excited about non-NASCAR motorsports than Ken Block. Although he's pretty good at rally racing (in its latest stadium-and-social-media-friendly incarnation, Global Rally Cross), he's even better at promoting it and his auto/outlaw image. Block's annual stuntastic Gymkhana mini-features are as close to guaranteed viral as they come. Why? The driving, for sure, but the machines he jumps into are simply incredible, including his latest, an 850-horsepower AWD 1965 Mustang.”

Check out the full list at http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/the_2015_power_list/viewall.html, which includes Ford CEO Mark Fields (at number 11) and Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair (at number 15). Safe to say, Block is in good company on that list!

Ken Block Unveils 2015 Livery!

You've been waiting for it and it's finally here: Ken Block's 2015 Hoonigan Racing Division livery. Every season, Block comes up with an all-new look for his race cars (as well as Hoonigan official team gear!) and 2015 is no exception. A radical departure from the 8-bit zebra pattern on last season's car, the 2015 car has gone to the moon and back, bringing home a cosmic look that's bound to leave the competition seeing stars.

"I really wanted to do something different this season," said Block. "I suppose I try and do that every year, but I wanted to get really far outside of the box and I'm pretty sure putting outer space on my race car is about as far as I can get! I love how this turned out however, I think that it's going to pop really well both on track during rallycross events and in the woods during rally events like Rally in the 100 Acre Wood."

Like what you see? Good! In the coming weeks, Block will also be announcing his full 2015 schedule and we'll also be showing you a few more looks of the car, including some in action, as well as upcoming gear featuring the livery from Hoonigan, SPY and HPI Racing.

Grand Prize Winner Announced In The Keep-A-Breast X Ken Block X Dc Shoes Contest

Early in 2014, the Keep-A-Breast charity (you probably best know them from their attention-grabbing slogan of "i <3 boobies!") teamed up with Ken Block and DC Shoes to create a special, limited-edition run of driving shoes for Block to use throughout the 2014 Global Rallycross season. In total 9 pairs of the bright pink shoes were made, with each set being worn for one GRC event. After each event, Block signed the shoes and Keep-A-Breast raffled them off in exchange for charity donations.

While many people entered for the chance to win ($25,772 was raised) one of the pairs, one lucky finalist managed to snag not just a pair of the shoes, but the overall grand prize from DC Shoes of a trip to fly and meet Block himself, as well as going for a ride with Block sometime in 2015. That winner? Cameron Gow from Ontario, Canada.

Ken Block and the entire team at Hoonigan Racing Division would like to thank DC Shoes for their generous contributions to the project (creating dope product as well as covering the costs to get the grand prize winner to and from their ride-along), Keep-A-Breast for being a charity organization with a great message doing what they do and most importantly, everyone who participated in the raffles and donated to a great cause. And a special congrats to Cameron, hopefully you'll grow into those shoes!

Block Finishes The Year With A 2nd In Italy

For his final event of the 2014 race season, Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block headed to Bologna, Italy, for the Bettega Celebrities Rally event that's held in conjunction with the Bologona Motorshow. Taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, the event is setup similar to a WRC Super Special Stage (or a slightly narrow GRC course) with a head-to-head competition style taking place.

For this event, some notable names were present to compete with Block. Racers with Formula One pedigrees like 1997 Champion Jacques Villenueve, former F1 driver Robert Kubica (who know competes regularly in WRC) and the ever-popular Italian (former WRC) racer Gigi Galli—a driver whom Block has always admired in terms of driving style.

While the competition took place over two days in Bologna at the local convention center, Block really started to shine during Sunday's day two competition. While day one saw Block frustrated with the lack of pre-event practice and attempting to find a setup that worked for the course, day two saw Block completely dialed and laying down blisteringly quick times. Each matchup against the other drivers was head-to-head, and Block managed to win his first four of four matchups on Sunday. His 5th and 6th matchups were against Robert Kubica and while Block was barely beaten (by .04 seconds) on the 5th race, he came back and beat Kubica on the 6th by .47 seconds.

The pair met again during the finals for the event and while Kubica just barely eked out the win against Block, Block was still immensely satisfied with his result for the overall weekend. Block also put down the single fastest lap time of the entire event during Sunday's competitions.

"I'm stoked that I'm able to end my season on a high-note," said Block. "I've been racing 11 out of the last 12 months this year, which is probably the busiest season I've had yet in my rally career. So to cap it off and come to Bologna to take part in this great event, with such passionate fans and a really fun course was a nice treat. But to then be able to race against former F1 names like Jacques Villenueve and Robert Kubica, as well as a rally hero of mine, Gigi Galli, and beat them in competition? That's simply amazing for me and really helps reaffirm that I've learned a lot the last few years and really developed more as a driver. Nobody competing here could be called slow at all and while I struggled on day one to find my setup and rythym, I really feel that I figured it out here on Sunday and I think my 2nd overall is proof of that. I'm not that bummed about losing the event to Robert [Kubica], that guy is scary fast and he comes from F1!"

The race at the Bologna Motorshow brings Block's long 2014 season to an end. Stay tuned to find out what his race calendar holds for the upcoming 2015 rally season.