Ken Block signs for Ford and the WRCThu, 07 Jan 2010
Ken Block – who became a YouTube sensation with his gymkhana stunt series ¬– has ended months of speculation by confirming he’ll compete in the 2010 World Rally Championship – switching his Subaru Impreza for a Ford Focus, while he'll also rally a Fiesta in the US. The Monster energy drink-backed deal will form a key part of Ford’s plan to market its hatches in America, and follows last year’s Pikes Peak Fiesta.
It’s a tentative start for Block, who’ll be competing in select rounds of the WRC championship – Mexico is believed to be the first – to hone his skills.
‘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.’
With Kimi Raikkonen driving a Citroen C4, Block’s deal is another shot in the arm for the ailing WRC.
Just like Ford’s own factory effort, Block’s Focus will be prepared by Malcolm Wilson’s M Sport.
‘It is great news that Ken will be joining the WRC and even better that it will be with Ford!’ says Wilson,. ‘Ken has been instrumental in elevating the public awareness of rallying throughout the world with his multimedia exploits, particularly in the US which is a key global market and an area where WRC has yet to reach its full potential. Ken’s appearance in the WRC and his desire to compete toe-to-toe at the highest level is indicative of the determination and drive that he has exhibited in all areas of his life to date—be it in business or personal targets. Ken is a colorful character with a huge international fan base and his decision to appear in the WRC is warmly welcomed.’
By Ben Barry