Ken Block and his Hoonigan Racing Division team will use their close relationship with Ford to enter two examples of the new Ford Focus RS Rallycross into the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship. The crew will also have full factory support from the Blue Oval, so Block should have quite a well prepared car when competition begins.
Block teased his Focus RS Rallycross briefly at the end of Gymkhana 8. Details about it are still thin, but the all-wheel drive racecar's 600-horsepower EcoBoost engine can rocket the machine to 60 miles per hour in less than 2 seconds.
In January, Block signed as Ford's factory driver in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. He had previously competed in a few rounds of the European-focused series but often ran in the US-based Global RallyCross Championship. He and teammate Andreas Bakkerud were originally supposed to use Fiesta STs for this season, but the switch to the Focus gives them a brand new vehicle to race.
"To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible," Block said in the car's competition announcement.
The FIA World Rallycross kicks off from April 15-17 in Portugal, and the only round of the series in North America is at Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Canada. Even if you can't find a way to watch Block race his new Focus RS Rallycross, expect to see him doing insane stunts in it when the hatch stars in Gymkhana 9.
• Ford Focus RS will make its competition debut as Ford's factory entry in 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship
• Ken Block's Hoonigan Racing Division will field two Focus RS race cars to build on the performance marque's championship legacy
• World Rallycross Championship race car based on all-new global 2016 Ford Focus RS featuring advanced Ford Performance torque vectoring all-wheel drive
• Ken Block will be joined by Andreas Bakkerud as his teammate for 2016
DEARBORN, Mich., March 2, 2016 – Ford's RS competition legacy continues this season for a new generation of motorsports fans.
As teased in the credits of Ken Block's Gymkhana 8 released earlier this week, Ford Performance confirms Block's Hoonigan Racing Division team will field two factory-supported 2016 Ford Focus RS race cars in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
For more than 50 years, Ford Performance's Rallye Sport badge has been reserved for racing and production vehicles that push the limits of performance and innovation. Known for aggressive design and pioneering technology, Ford vehicles wearing the RS badge have seen success for decades in stage rally series including FIA World Rally Championship with drivers like Björn Waldegård, Marcus Grönholm, Mikko Hirvonen and Colin McRae.
"RS is a worldwide brand with a rich heritage that motorsports enthusiasts know and love," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "Our RS badge has a natural connection to racing, and we have a passionate, dedicated team on the project. We're excited to honor the history of Rallye Sport by pushing every aspect of performance and design to the limit."
The Focus RS build is a global collaboration between Ford Performance, Block's Hoonigan Racing and U.K.-based M-Sport. Featuring all-wheel drive, a new EcoBoost® engine producing 600 horsepower, and a 0-60-mph launch time of less than two seconds, Ford Focus RS Rallycross cars are optimized for competition.
Mark Rushbrook, motorsports engineering manager, Ford Performance, says the intention has been to develop a Rallycross car that lives up to the RS badge.
"We've dedicated the same level of cutting-edge tools, technical resources and engineering know-how from our Le Mans GT and NASCAR programs, and working with M-Sport brings renowned expertise in rallycross and stage rally vehicle development," said Rushbrook. "Ken, Andreas Bakkerud and Hoonigan Racing give us insight from the competition and driver perspectives. Our three organizations have a great working relationship, and we're all looking forward to seeing the Focus RS in action."
"I'm really happy that for 2016 I'm expanding my relationship with Ford and Ford Performance," said Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block. "To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible. It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. Plus, have you seen the car that they've created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me in Dearborn a few months ago. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing."
Malcolm Wilson, OBE, managing director for M-Sport, believes that together, they've produced a very special race car. "Working closely with our colleagues at Ford Performance and Hoonigan Racing Division, a huge amount of work has gone into this project," he said. "It's been an extremely exciting, rewarding venture – one we hope yields considerable success. I'm confident we have a winning formula for the season ahead."
The Focus RS Rallycross cars will debut at the FIA World Rallycross event in Portugal, April 15-17, with Block and Bakkerud behind the wheel. The global 12-race series takes place in 11 countries on three continents.
Additional information on the race cars and their development will be coming ahead of the Portugal race.
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2016 Ford Focus RS Rallycross Specs
Power: 600 hp
Torque: 900NM. Capable of 0-60 mph/2 secs.
Body: 2016 Ford Focus RS, seam welded and reinforced. Homologated FIA-spec roll cage. Custom body design by Ford Performance and M-Sport. Bespoke underbody protection.
Engine: Ford Performance and M-Sport developed Ford EcoBoost 2L engine. Garrett Turbocharger with 45mm restrictor. Cosworth Electronics engine management. Optimized rallycross intercooler and radiator package.
Transmission: Sadev 6-Speed sequential gearbox with adjustable, mechanical front and rear differentials. Triple plate AP carbon clutch.
Suspension: SLA-type suspension, both front and rear with 3-way adjustable Reiger dampers.
Brakes: Brembo 4-pot calipers with 350mm rotors. Sadev Hydraulic handbrake system.
Interior: Recaro Pro-Racer Ultima, FIA-8862 spec driver's seat (only).
Wheels: 8" X 17" wheels to suit WRX tire regulations.
Tires: WRX spec AVON race tire.