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.