Hell, Norway: Making his World Rallycross Championship debut in Hell, Norway, this past weekend, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block came away from his first-ever WorldRX round in third overall, sharing the podium with former WRC champion Petter Solberg and fellow Ford driver Reinis Nitiss.
Saturday’s first two rounds of heats had Block learning the all-new-to-him course, as well as adapting to the Norway-specific start timing system utilized by WorldRX at the event, which is a radically different style compared to the main series Block competes in, Global Rallycross. Despite the learning curve however, Block managed to win one of his two heats on Saturday, setting himself up to end the day 13th overall out of 36 entries.
Sunday morning, Block continued to show his skill and ability to learn quickly by taking 2nd in his third heat. He placed 5th in his fourth and final heat and ended the heats of day 2 set up in 8th overall and solidly into the semi-finals. During the battle of Block’s semi-final, he achieved a third place finish, which put him into the final on the back row. From there, Block drove like a man possessed, taking the joker lap right off the start and battling the entire way with a highly competitive field to come away with a podium-placing third overall in the final.
“I’m unbelievably stoked to come way from this event with third overall,” said Block. “This was my first time racing in this style of European rallycross event and I really enjoyed it. The level of competition here is great and the track was excellent. It was a really enjoyable course with a ton of elevation changes, but it was also super challenging—especially when you look at some of the guys I was driving against, like Petter [Solberg]! Based on this experience, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back and competing in France in September.”
In addition to placing third overall in the race, Block also took first place in the European Rally Championship, which was being run simultaneously during the WorldRX event and for which he took first overall out of 23 entries based on points earned in the four heats spread between Saturday and Sunday.
Block’s next racing event is next weekend at GRC Washington DC, back stateside and taking place on June 21st and 22nd in Washington DC at RFK Stadium.