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.