• Oct 15, 2009

One of the most significant deals in rally history. That's how news of Ken Block's imminent move to the World Rally Championship is being touted in the motorsport press. And we couldn't agree more.

Now don't get us wrong. We enjoy watching Block's famous antics behind the wheel of his purpose-built Gymkhana Subaru Impreza as much as the next guy. Probably more. But we can't help but feel that the superstar's otherworldly car control skills couldn't be put to better use than pure showboating. And this deal could give him exactly that opportunity, graduating from the relatively low-visibility Rally America series to the top-tier WRC.

Since Subaru, for whom Block competes in the USA, pulled out of the WRC, Ken's been hunting for another ride in the premier series, and reports now indicate that he – along with former Subaru driver Chris Atkinson – will be driving the 2009-spec Ford Focus WRC for the new Monster Energy Drink World Rally Team (which could, incidentally, go some way towards explaining what the two rally stars were doing behind the wheel of that old Ford Escort). Once the details are hammered out, both Block and Atkinson are expected to start next season in select rounds of the championship before challenging the full calendar the year after, presumably behind the wheel of the new rally-spec Fiesta.

[Source: Autosport]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's with all the negative comments??? This is great news. Ken Block may not be at level 1 WRC standard, it could take a few seasons to come to grips with it, but you can't blame him for trying.

      This is also great news for "Atko". Block needs someone with WRC experience and Atko needs a full time drive Sounds good to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I recall Block has been quite humble about the calibre of racing in the WRC. I don't think he underestimates them in any way but hey who wouldn't want a chance to race with the premier people in any way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford interview with Mikko Hirvonen ahead of championship finale
      http://www.rallybuzz.com/ford-interview-hirvonen-rally-gb/
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am interested in knowing who is funding the project Ford or Ken Block. Ken is a very capable driver he has proven this, but do you think he is at the same level as the WRC driver or even some of the JWRC guys.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For all those hating upon this just remember this may sway Speed or someone to air the series on Cable. I know Discovery HD Theater said they would but if I remember that is a subscription service (correct me if I'm wrong please.). As the saying goes any press is good press. May take KB a few season's to get up to snuff and upon the leader board but you just know Ford and Monster are more concerned about Promotional gigs than him out right winning any title (atleast at first).
      hks118
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why all the hate for KB? All he's done is score tons of points in Rally America...the man can certainly drive. Good luck KB.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @hks118
        We aren't hating. Scoring point in Rally America is like scoring points in a high school football game. He is going to do bad in WRC which is the NFL.

        I do hope this bring more light on WRC and more coverage here in the States.
        hks118
        • 5 Years Ago
        @hks118
        What the hell?? The man has yet to even enter a WRC rally and you're saying "he is going to to bad"...that's hating if I've ever seen it. Give the guy a chance, jeeze.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @hks118
        I'm with you hks, he hasn't even started racing in WRC and everyone's hating him already. I wish him the best. Besides, it's good to see an American driving at WRC. Good luck KB!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @hks118
        I like Ken Block because he's a self-made man. I like his videos. I just don't think he's very good. Frankly, give me one of his STi's, and I'll do an exact replica of his Gymnkana antics. It's easy to do big power slides with over 500awhp and crap tires.

        I think he's a good driver, but in my opinion he's always had a long ways to go to before I'd consider him a real-deal rally racer. It may be unfair of me to say that, since I'm certainly not doing as much as even him, but its just where I stand. WRC is going to be a great opportunity to prove his ability, or prove that he was just a big fish in a small pond. Rally-America is pretty mild compared to the rest of the world's events.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is incredible news! I really am curious how he'll stack up against the beastly Loeb and Hirvonen. Also curious how Atkinson will continue handling his new Citroen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ken Block isn't a fast rally driver, and he is going to get blown away by the competition out there. He'll be just as boring as Pastrana was in his few attempts @ WRC.

      Sorry Block, stick to the showboating, you're far more entertaining in that regard.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ^ Very, very cool stuff. Maybe he will get his doors blown in, maybe not; but I will sure as hell be watching!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I live up the street from VTcar...the folks who build and manage the Subaru team's cars in Rally America...and I bump into Carolyn Bosley every now and again. She seems to think that Ken Block has a whole hell of a lot of unrealized potential. So, I don't expect him to knock Sordo, Hirvonen, and Loeb off of their respective pedestals his first year...or even his second year...but with a few years of serious competition under his belt, I think he could get to that level. And hey, it'd be nice to see an American flag on the window of a WRC car, wouldn't it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Welcome to the shark infested water mr block, slow mo cams and stunt videos mean nothing here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Many thought Petter was to blame when failing miserably with Subaru the past few years. He has shown quite a bit of improvement, even in the dated 06 Xsara.

      I do agree that WRC is a different league, but all of the current talent had to come from somewhere first.



      • 5 Years Ago
      i think this could be a positive move. there are a couple things i see in the whole argument, good driver bad driver, us series. there are no real factory rides in the us series. so i think having the actual ford backed effort will mean a lot more. Give the guy a chance. its nice to see someone get recognized.

      although i think controlling an sti at that limit 500hp or not, its still hard to go out cold turkey and do what he does.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK there, lotsa love and hate but the bottom line lets just watch KB do his run in WRC, if he wants to move up then he has to slug it out with the big boys. It may be a few seasons for him to get it right but in the mean time lets support KB, all the best!
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