BARCELONA, SPAIN: After a four-year hiatus, Ken Block is returning to the World Rally Championship in a one-off appearance for WRC Spain. Competing in the latest Ford Performance/M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, Block recently completed two days of testing (one day of gravel and one day of tarmac) in the Spanish countryside outside of Barcelona in preparation for the event.
Block’s overall impression of the current WRC offering from Ford (now featuring aero more aggressive than anything Block has driven before on a rally stage)? Beyond impressed.
“I’m obviously really happy to be back and participating in the WRC,” said Block. “Especially here in Spain. It’s been 4 years since I’ve done a WRC round, which seems wild to me that it’s been so long, but obviously I’ve been very focused on rallycross the past few years.”
Block continues, “Alex [Gelsomino] and myself logged two solid days of testing last week, and it was our first time in the current car together on a rally stage. It’s really quick and incredible to drive! And when I say that, I mean that it has a lot of capability that I’m not able to exploit simply due to lack seat time. I drove it in the snow for part of Gymkhana TEN, but that is nothing like racing it at full speed down a rally stage.”
However, when pressed for an answer as to how he thinks he’ll do during the event, Block was bluntly honest. “I’m being extremely realistic about the race weekend and I’m also being very upfront about my personal expectations,” said Block. “The goal is to get out there, drive as fast as I can, but to bring it home clean and just have a great time. The rest of the top teams have almost two full years racing this car and can fully exploit all of the aero work that these new cars now feature, but I simply don’t have that comfort level to lean into it on the high-speed corners and blindly trust it yet. And that’s ok! I’m just thrilled I have this awesome opportunity to come out and drive the best car in the field amongst the best rally drivers on the planet on some of—what I feel at least—are some of the best roads in the championship as well. So yeah, I’m stoked to get onto the stages here in Spain!”
WRC Spain takes place October 25th through the 28th, in the hills of Spain outside of Barcelona. Follow along across all of Block’s social channels (@KBlock43 on Instagram and Twitter and at Facebook.com/KenBlockRacing).
Also, for more of Block piloting the current Ford Fiesta WRC, be sure to tune in for the behind-the-scenes of Block driving the same vehicle in Gymkhana TEN, as part of the Amazon Prime Video series The Gymkhana Files which launches on November 16.
In the meantime, check out this video of Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino testing: