A three-time X Games medallist and famous for his Subaru-powered series of ‘Gymkhana’ videos, Ken Block has switched to a Ford to contest selected rounds of the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship
Block, the California-based action sports hero-turned-rally driver, will compete for the Monster World Rally Team in selected WRC events in a Ford Focus RS, becoming the first American to make a multiyear commitment to the championship.
The details of which 2010 WRC events Block will contest is expected within a few weeks, says Rally New Zealand’s general manager Paul Mallard.
“We’d certainly be delighted to see Ken back in New Zealand again. He competed in Rally New Zealand in 2008 in a Group N Subaru Impreza run by the Subaru Rally Team USA and in 2007 also in a Subaru as part of a limited campaign in the New Zealand Rally Championship.
“It would be very exciting to see Ken competing on our roads in a WRC Ford Focus run by Ford’s UK-based rally partner M-Sport,” says Mallard. “As soon as we know more, we’ll be letting people know.”
Block says: “I am stoked to be rallying in a Ford. They are an impressive force in the sport. From the days of the 1970s Escorts to the Group B RS200 to the modern-day Focus and now the Fiesta, Ford just does an excellent job at rally and I couldn’t be happier to now be part of this amazing heritage. Not to mention my dad would be proud. He was a dedicated Ford guy.
“Racing in the World Rally Championship has always been a dream of mine but I’d still be dreaming if I promised podiums in the near future,” says Block. “I will be going head-to-head with the greatest drivers on the planet. And sure, I will be giving it my all but my main objective for 2010 is to develop into a competitive driver for 2011 and beyond.”
Jamie Allison, director Ford North America Motorsports says: “Ken Block has established himself as an action sports competitor and a rising star in the world of American rally racing. We are excited to have him on our team to help promote our new global products, the 2011 Ford Fiesta and 2012 Ford Focus.”
Rally New Zealand takes place from 6 to 9 May this year, based in Auckland with competitive stages running in the Whangarei, Kaipara, Franklin and Raglan districts, as well as central Auckland. News and event information is updated on the event’s website, www.rallynz.org.nz.
Rally New Zealand is officially a round of:
- the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC);
- the FIA Production World Rally Championship (PWRC);
- the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship; (SWRC)
- the FIA WRC Cup for Teams (Super 2000 teams), and;
- the New Zealand Rally Championship.