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.