Block’s Fiesta set for global debut
US star all set for Rally America
American action sports icon Ken Block, who already has a huge fan base in Europe through the internet, kicks off his relationship with Ford Motor Company this weekend.
His Monster World Rally Team debuts the exciting new Monster Fiesta Rally America car at the Sno*Drift Rally (29 - 30 January) in Atlanta, Michigan.
Monster World Rally Team will contest all six rounds of the Rally America series and Block’s North American programme will culminate at the X Games 16 event in Los Angeles in early August. His co-driver is Italian Alessandro Gelsomino.
Block will combine his Rally America season with a seven-round programme in the FIA World Rally Championship at the wheel of a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car.
His first outing will be at Rally Mexico (4 - 7 March) and he will also tackle WRC rallies in Turkey, Portugal, Germany, France, Spain and Britain. His Focus RS WRC will be prepared by British-based M-Sport, the company which operates Ford’s official world rally programme.
Both programmes, the Rally America and the World Rally Championship, will be supported primarily by Monster Energy Drink and Ford.
The two-litre turbocharged Monster Fiesta Rally America car is prepared by Swedish team Olsbergs Motorsports Evolution (OSME) and is based on the successful production-based Fiesta Rallycross car that competed in the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2009.
OSME took a Fiesta Rallycross car to last year’s famous Pikes Peak hillclimb in the United States and two weeks later won the X Games event.
Block’s four-wheel drive Monster Fiesta Rally America car has been modified to comply with Rally America’s Open class regulations. It is fitted with a turbo restrictor to comply with championship regulations and produces around 330bhp (326PS). Block’s team spent the last few days testing the car in northern Michigan.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team
"I’m very excited to finally be in the Fiesta. The Fiesta is the car that beat me last summer at X Games. Ford has a great platform with the Fiesta to develop and push a very good rally car worldwide and also in the showrooms. I’m looking forward to getting in the Fiesta and seeing what I can do in the Rally America championship and the X Games."
Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager Motorsport, Ford of Europe
"The WRC has yet to reach its full potential in the United States and we hope Ken’s appearance at the top level of the sport will help increase interest in such a major global market. Ken needs no introduction to motorsport fans on either side of the Atlantic and I can’t wait to see the impact he will have on WRC fans around the globe. He has built a cult following with his exploits and Ford can only benefit by having him showcase the abilities of our products."
Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director, M-Sport
"It’s fantastic for the sport that Ken will join the WRC this season – and even better that it will be with Ford. He has raised the public’s awareness of rallying throughout the world and to see him competing on the stages of the WRC will provide a great boost to the championship. Ken is a larger-than-life character and his sense of fun and adventure, combined with his competitive instincts, will be warmly welcomed."
Jamie Alison, director, Ford North American Motorsports
"Ford has a long, winning tradition in European rallying and with Ken Block and Fiesta, we’re bringing that to North America for fans to experience firsthand. There will be a little bit of rally in every Fiesta. It’s the right form of motorsports to showcase the driving dynamics of Fiesta. What people need to remember, as Ken races down the course this weekend, his car started off as a production vehicle. It is a true testament to the capability built into every Ford Fiesta."
Jost Capito, Director Global Performance Vehicles
"Ken Block is competing in Rally America and the FIA World Rally Championship, which covers four continents in 2010, and this is a great achievement. It means rallying is truly becoming a global sport. Co-operation with Ford and, as a result, his drive with Fiesta in Rally America and with Focus RS WRC in global WRC events, underlines the strengths of both vehicles around the globe. We can expect some really great action!"
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