High praise for Block after Sweden finish

"This was an extremely tough rally for me"

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By www.wrc.com

17 February 2011 - 07:22
High praise for Block after Sweden (...)

Ken Block’s team manager has praised the American following his run to 14th place on Rally Sweden at the weekend.

Block, who was co-driven by Alex Gelsomino, had never contested the snow event before but got his Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC to the finish in Karlstad on Sunday evening unscathed. In doing so he picked up the first manufacturers’ championship points for his squad after it registered as a WRC Team for 2011.

“Our goal for Sweden was to come here and learn it the best we could,” said Monster team manager Derek Dauncey. “We knew we weren’t going to just show up and match our gravel and Tarmac pace here on the snow. That said I am quite pleased with Ken’s performance. From the first to last stage of the rally Ken continued to improve his pace, eventually finding himself less than two seconds off the lead, which is very impressive for a Rally Sweden debut.”

Block, who had never competed on a snow rally using studded tyres before, said: “This was an extremely tough rally for me. On Friday, we were farther off the pace of the top drivers than we have ever been in our WRC career. But slowly and surely we lessened the gap. We knew coming to Sweden it was going to be one of our biggest challenges this year. I just don’t have the experience on snow these other drivers do. After all, I am just a kid who grew up in southern California.”

The highlight of the event for Block was his 37-metre leap over Colin’s Crest on the Vargasen stage on Friday morning. The jump was the longest recorded and earned Block the Colin’s Crest Award, created to honour the late 1995 world rally champion Colin McRae.

“Colin was not only a good friend to me, but a huge inspiration and a big reason that I’m rally racing, so I couldn’t be more stoked to have won this award,” said Block. “It proves that even on one of my worst days in a rally car, I can still try to have fun and earn an award for hooning. I would imagine that would have made Colin proud.”

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