Block calls on Latvala for Finland preparation
Gymkhana ace accompanies factory Ford driver for high-speed run
Ken Block says a test with factory Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala in Finland last Friday has helped him to overcome some of the challenges he will face when he makes his debut on the country’s FIA World Rally Championship round this week.
The Gymkhana star will contest the high-speed gravel round in his regular Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC and has been in Finland since last week to prepare for his third world championship appearance of 2012.
“We did about 32 kilometres with Jari and it was quite an experience and amazing to see how unique these road are,” said Block. “The road we used was like a rollercoaster with so many turns over crests and jumps. It was great for me to see how Jari was setting up for the different situations throughout the road and it was very nice of the Ford World Rally Team to let me do that so thank you to those guys.”
Block completed his own test on Saturday ahead of the reconnaissance for Neste Oil Rally Finland getting underway on Monday. The American said it had been an invaluable exercise.
“I have a little more knowledge about car set-up and how to set my notes up because it’s quite unique how dramatic these roads are,” said Block. “It’s one thing to see them on camera but it’s a whole other thing to look at these lines when driving down the road.”
Block used part of his test to offer friend and professional snowboarder Iikka Backstrom a high-speed ride in his Fiesta. Like Block, Backstrom is a DC Shoes-backed athlete. In an interview afterwards Backstrom said it was “the most scariest experience of my life”.
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