Block set to return on day two in Portugal
following his roll on the fourth stage of the event this morning
Ken Block is set to restart on day two of Rally de Portugal following his roll on the fourth stage of the event this morning.
The Monster World Rally Team driver was in 13th place when he left the road 13.5 kilometres from the start of the 21.36-kilometre Silves stage and retired.
An initial inspection of the car, performed by a mechanic from the M-Sport team by the side of the stage, suggested that the damage was relatively light and would not prevent the American from continuing on the second leg of the Faro-based event.
Block’s engineer Mathias Aubespin said: “I didn’t speak to him direct, only to his manager so I am not exactly sure what happened but they rolled the car, a light roll, broke the suspension and couldn’t carry on. We have a mechanic with the car now and the damage he described sounds like it wasn’t a bad roll, just the back end of the car was slightly damaged. The hope is all will be okay [to restart] tomorrow. As far as we know there is some suspension to repair and a bit of cosmetic.”
Despite Block’s retirement, Aubespin said he was happy with the progress his driver was making in what is only his third appearance in a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car.
“He’s doing good,” said Aubespin, who previously worked as Marcus Gronholm’s engineer when the Finn drove for the factory Ford team between 2006 and 2007.
“He’s listening to the advice from everybody, the engineers, technicians and the other drivers. He’s really keen and has the right approach and attitude.
“At first it was the basic things like changing gear and braking at the right time. He’s got that right so now it is just a case of learning all the other things because it is not easy what he is doing. But he is definitely going in the right way.”
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