Rally

Cossie Fire And Destruction At New England Forest Rally

This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.
This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.
This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.
This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.
This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.
This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.

This year’s New England Forest Rally came to an abrupt end for Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino when a mechanical issue lead to a roll and ignited a fire that engulfed the 25 year old, Ford Escort RS Cossie Group A/WRC car. The duo escaped the wreck unharmed but despite their efforts to extinguish the fire, the car was destroyed. RIP, Cossie.

“Alex and I got out safely, but the car thoroughly burned right there on the stage. Luckily the in-car action was caught on my helmet mounted GoPro,” said Block.

The team was running in 3rd overall (despite a gear box problem that would ultimately ruin their weekend), and pressing on to finish Stage 4 when they turned into a tighter left corner and downshifted. The shift came late (because mechanical issue), and when it finally did, it threw the car farther to the inside of the corner and into a big rock that sent it rolling over twice. They landed on the wheels, and were ready to get going again (because shiny side up!) buuuut as you can see in the video, a fire started REALLY quick.

“Watch the helmet cam GoPro video and you can see the engine oddly redline right before I hit the rock. I was expecting the racecar to run wider, but when the gearbox finally downshifted, it didn’t engage. We aren’t sure if it was just an engagement issue or if something broke. Either way, it meant I had no drive and the car ended up on the inside of the corner instead of the middle. Such a bummer. These photos suck, and it was torturous to watch the car burn (it took a while), but that’s racing. Thanks to all the volunteers, other competitors that helped, and the fire and safety crews for helping us with that crappy situation.”

The ups and downs of racing are real. Of his 3 races so far this year, Block has made 2 podiums and a lost an entire car to fire. Gutted to have had the Cossie burn up like that, he’s already got plans to build a new one.

Hoonigan Racing Division Announces A Big 2018: A Wild Mix Of Wrc, World Rx, Americas Rx, U.S. Stage Rally, Gymkhana Grid, A New Technical Partnership And A Historic Ford Escort!

Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into.

PARK CITY, UT: Today, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into. The answer? An over-the-top mix of racing that’s comprised of four stage rally events (three domestic in the United States, one international) with two different vehicles, as well as two rounds of the newly formed Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) and one round of the World RX Championship as well. This is in addition to a return of Gymkhana GRID in the U.S., another larger format Gymkhana GRID event with Monster Energy on the other side of the Atlantic and the launch of an 8-part documentary series titled The Gymkhana Files as well as GymkhanaTEN this fall!

To start with, Block will campaign his 90s Ford Escort Cosworth Group A racecar at three U.S. stage rally races. He’ll be sending his vintage machinery through the woods at the Oregon Trail Rally (April 20-22), New England Forest Rally (July 20-21) and the Idaho Rally International (September 15-16).

Continuing the stage rally theme, Block will also campaign in a 2017 Ford Fiesta RS WRC prepared by M-Sport, for WRC Spain (October 25-28). “It takes a huge amount of effort and training to race in the WRC,” said Block. “but I’ll be cramming that into a short period of testing beforehand. It’s not really enough time in the car to properly prepare for a WRC attack, but I’ll take what I can get!" WRC Spain will be Ken’s first WRC race since he race WRC Spain back in 2014.

Returning to rallycross via select ARX rounds (COTA, July TBD and Canada August 4-5) as well as one World RX round at Circuit of the Americas (September 29-30), Block will be forming a three-way technical and marketing partnership between himself, Canadian rallycross star Steve Arpin and Hoonigan. The partnership will see Arpin become a Hoonigan driver and his racecar will feature a similar livery to Block’s. Arpin's Loenbro team will continue to develop the Focus RS RX in addition to running the two cars, while Block and Hoonigan will be contributing their marketing prowess to Arpin’s RX program.

“I’m excited about partnering with Steve [Arpin] on my 2018 rallycross plans,” said Block. “Steve and his team have offered to continue with development of the Focus and I think they’re a great partner for myself and my team when it comes to ARX. I’m also looking forward to racing in rallycross once again in front of crowds in North America!”
In addition to getting back into rally and continuing with rallycross, Block will also be competing in more Gymkhana GRID events in 2018. “Plans aren’t final yet, but we intend on doing a GRID event or two back in America this year,” said Block “Hoonigan Racing Division will be fielding as many as three racecars for the events. And, we’re still partnering with Monster Energy once more to do another big Gymkhana GRID event in Europe or South Africa.”

“I’m legitimately excited about my calendar for this season,” Block continues. “I’ve really enjoyed the past few years of rallycross, but I started my race career with rally and my heart has always been with it, so to be able to get back into doing events like these while still doing some rallycross makes me very happy! I love my old Cossie and I’m looking forward to going and pushing that a bit here in America during some events, but then I’m going to the opposite end of the spectrum with the current 2017 WRC Fiesta, which I think is going to be a lot of fun for WRC Spain. Plus, I am excited to see the further developments that Steve Arpin and Loenbro will make on the Focus RS RX.”

Also back for 2018 is Block’s ongoing partnership with artist Death Spray Custom. DSC was tapped once again for livery design duties for Block’s cars as well as his driving suit. The overall graphics package is an evolution of last season's 3D lightning bolt theme, but given a slight retro feel given the application to Block's classic Cossie. Block's 2018 suit, however, is a new, more intricate and detailed take on a concept by Death Spray done previously. A vascular system design that features hidden Hoonigan sayings like "Tire Slayer," "Kill All Tires" and "Ain't Care."

“David [Death Spray Custom] really has a great sense of what works and what doesn't work for myself and my programs,” said Block. “He’s been great to collaborate with on these designs and I think that my fans enjoy the work too. It’s also stuff that translates well to Hoonigan apparel, which is always a nice bonus for me!”

Finally, Block will be staying very busy in 2018 amongst his calendar of events with his continued video production efforts. Both The Gymkhana Files (8-part documentary series launching on Amazon Prime) as well as the next installment of Block’s 500+ million view viral Gymkhana franchise, GymkhanaTEN (created, shot and produced by Hoonigan Media Machine) drop during Q4 of 2018. Block also has a handful of original content projects for Hoonigan’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/TheHoonigans) in production for 2018 as well.

As usual, be sure to follow along with everything Ken Block is up to in 2018. @KBlock43 for Instagram and Twitter and facebook.com/KenBlockRacing.

Block Announces All-New Racecar For Upcoming 2018 Stage Rally Action

Ken Block is pleased to announce an all-new (to him) racecar to his arsenal of racecars at Hoonigan Racing Division: a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A rally car—complete with an upgraded WRC engine package!
Ken Block is pleased to announce an all-new (to him) racecar to his arsenal of racecars at Hoonigan Racing Division: a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A rally car—complete with an upgraded WRC engine package!
Ken Block is pleased to announce an all-new (to him) racecar to his arsenal of racecars at Hoonigan Racing Division: a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A rally car—complete with an upgraded WRC engine package!
Ken Block is pleased to announce an all-new (to him) racecar to his arsenal of racecars at Hoonigan Racing Division: a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A rally car—complete with an upgraded WRC engine package!
Ken Block is pleased to announce an all-new (to him) racecar to his arsenal of racecars at Hoonigan Racing Division: a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A rally car—complete with an upgraded WRC engine package!

PARK CITY, UT: Ken Block is pleased to announce an all-new (to him) racecar to his arsenal of racecars at Hoonigan Racing Division: a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A rally car—complete with an upgraded WRC engine package!

Block recently took delivery of his new racecar and immediately got to breaking it in with a bit of tire smoke during a quick test and was extremely pleased with the results. His plan is to race this Escort RS Cosworth on a few gravel stage rallies around the world next year, along with occasionally piloting a Ford Fiesta R5 also. In addition to these plans, Block and Hoonigan plan to bring Gymkhana GRID back to America for a few events, along with continuing to work with Monster Energy to put on GRID events in Europe.

“While just yesterday we announced that myself and my team were done racing in World RX after this season, we also mentioned that I was intending on heading back out into the woods to do some stage rallies in 2018. This car here [Block’s new Escort] is one of the vehicles I plan on racing on gravel stage rallies and I’m very excited about it. I’ve always loved these cars and my team director, Derek Dauncey, finally found one for me that fit the exact specifications of what I was looking for. I'm stoked about it and I'm really looking forward to racing this beast!"

Block's 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth is a properly sorted—and clean—example of a 90s era Ford World Rally Championship racecar. The car features an upgraded 1997 WRC engine (turbocharged 2.0-liter producing 400 hp and 405 lb/ft in current trim, lightweight alloy block vs. the original steel block, head and block have been modified to run higher horsepower) mated to a 7-speed sequential gearbox, features a side-exit exhaust (for tarmac setups) and comes with options for both gravel and tarmac suspension setups.

Block’s race schedule for next year will be announced in early 2018.

Block And Gelsomino, New Zealand 2015, Pt. 2

KEN BLOCK AND ALEX GELSOMINO AT RALLY OTAGO NEW ZEALAND 2015
KEN BLOCK AND ALEX GELSOMINO AT RALLY OTAGO NEW ZEALAND 2015
KEN BLOCK AND ALEX GELSOMINO AT RALLY OTAGO NEW ZEALAND 2015
KEN BLOCK AND ALEX GELSOMINO AT RALLY OTAGO NEW ZEALAND 2015
KEN BLOCK AND ALEX GELSOMINO AT RALLY OTAGO NEW ZEALAND 2015
KEN BLOCK AND ALEX GELSOMINO AT RALLY OTAGO NEW ZEALAND 2015

Following their first race of the year (and win!) up in Whangarei, New Zealand, less than a month ago, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block, and co-driver Alex Gelsomino, returned to the land of Kiwis for their second event of the 2015 season, Rally Otago, based in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Block and Gelsomino started out on Saturday morning, racking up two Stage wins in their first three Stages and getting off to a seemingly great start. However, towards the end of SS3, Block’s Ford Fiesta HFHV began having slight engine hiccups in higher gears. The pair continued pushing on, starting SS4, but were forced to retire shortly into the Stage due to a dead engine. The culprit? A simple mechanical issue (engine sensor wire that had become frayed). Gutted, the boys retired temporarily and missed the majority of the day’s Stages until they were able to rejoin after a late-afternoon service. But, by then, the damage was done and their hopes of adding another win to their season were over.

Despite the setback, Block went out on the last Stage of Saturday, a Super Special near downtown Dunedin with a crowd of thousands in attendance, and won it.

Sunday saw Block and Gelsomino demonstrate the speed and form that they’d possessed less than 30 days earlier up in Whangarei. With multiple Stage wins and fast pace, the HRD duo ended up winning leg 2 of Rally Otago, ending the weekend on a semi-high note.

“I’m definitely disappointed,” said Block. “We came down here to do well and try and add another win to the season. I feel that we were in a good position to do so but unfortunately a very small mechanical issue managed to completely sideline us and derail that effort. It’s frustrating, but that’s rally and motorsports in general. I’m glad we were able to rejoin the event at the Super Special today however and win that. It’s not the total victory I was looking for, but given the circumstances, I’m ok with it. For the second time in only a few weeks, I was able to drive on the greatest rally roads in the world again, so in the grand scheme of things, that’s pretty awesome.”

With Rally Otago being complete, the next event for Block will be the opening round of the 2015 Global Rallycross Championship, taking place in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, over the weekend of May 30th.

Ken Block Starts His Season With A Win In New Zealand: The International Rally Of Whangarei 2015

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Whangarei, NZ: Having not been behind the wheel of one of his Ford Fiesta racecars on a proper gravel rally stage since mid-October at WRC Spain last year, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino dusted off the cobwebs in spectacular fashion, bringing home a win on their first outing of 2015, which took place at the International Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand.

After two days of testing earlier in the week, Block started the rally on Friday night with two super specials right within the city of Whangarei. The rally had two separate events running simultaneously, the opening round of the 2015 Asia Pacific Rally Championship and the first round of the New Zealand National Championship. Block and his Ford Fiesta HFHV rally car were entered in the later. Coming out of Friday night in first overall in the National Championship Block was third overall when factoring in the competitors in the APRC event.

Saturday saw Block improve upon those standings however, maintaining the lead in the National Championship across the eight stages of the day, as well as pulling ahead of the drivers in the APRC as well (at one point in the day Block had built up almost a 30 second lead on the top APRC car, only to lose almost all of it back due to a mechanical issue), to end the day first overall in the entire event. Stats for end of day Saturday were a 1:09 second lead in the NZNC and 0.6 seconds overall in front of the top APRC driver.

Sunday had the duo maintain their rapid pace along the best rally stage roads on the planet, continually knocking down top stage finishes and building upon their leads. At the end of it all, Block and Gelsomino finished the entire event first overall, with a final time of 2:54.53.6, 36 seconds ahead of the leader in the APRC event and over 2 minutes of the leader of the NZRC event.

“I had a great event down here in Whangarei this week,” said Block. “This is the exact start to my 2015 season that I was looking for and I’m stoked that I was able to kick things off like that down here on some of the best stage rally roads in the entire world. I don’t get to do as much rally as I’d like these days since my focus is rallycross, so this was awesome. The whole event was a ton of fun, from our testing earlier in the week to the stages during the event. I’d also like to compliment the event organizers for putting on a world-class event and the fans for coming out to support. I’m definitely looking forward to Otago in a few weeks on the south island, hopefully I can add another win to my season.”

With the win at Whangarei, Block becomes the first non-New Zealander to ever win Whangarei and the first American to win an international rally in recent history. Block’s next competitive event is Rally Otago, May 8-10, which also takes place in New Zealand.

Ken Block Preps For His First Race Of 2015 - International Rally Of Whangarei In New Zealand

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Whangarei, NZ: After much anticipation, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is kicking off his 2015 race season this coming weekend in New Zealand. His first event of the year will be the International Rally of Whangarei, located on the North Island of New Zealand and starting today he’ll be commencing with two days of testing to prepare for the event.

“I’m excited to finally get back behind the wheel of my Ford Fiesta HFHV and doing proper stage rally,” said Block. “I haven’t had the chance to drive competitively since mid-December, and since my main focus these days is rallycross, not stage rally, logging some proper stage miles with my co-driver Alex [Gelsomino] is going to be a fun time. It’s also a big bonus for me that the roads down here in New Zealand are some of my absolute favorites in the world. Cambered, undulating gravel roads? Sounds like a great way for me to kick off this season.”

Block has raced in New Zealand six times earlier in his career, first competing in 2007 four times (Otago, Whangarei, the 2007 WRC round and Nelson Rally), including making podium with a 3rd overall finish at Nelson. In between the WRC round and Nelson that same year, he filmed a segment for DC Shoes Mtn.Lab 1.5, a video in which he drove around a snowboard park with fellow DC athletes and also jumped a Group N rally car off multiple snowboard jumps (and subsequently cracked a vertebrae!). He also competed in a Group N car in the 2008 round of WRC New Zealand and then made a return in 2012 when he competed in the New Zealand WRC round in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, an event where he made the top ten with a 9th overall finish.

With a 2015 season focus on the Global Rallycross Championship back in America, Block is only able to work in four stage rally events this season. International Rally of Whangarei will be the first of two rounds of the New Zealand National Championship that Block will contest in 2015—Otago Rally being the other—and the other two stage rallies he competes in during this season will be Rally America’s NEFR and LSPR events. To see how he does this weekend, be sure to follow along on Block’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.