E There are quite a few who say that Ken Block is in did more for rallying than any other driver last year. With spectacular YouTube videos showing the US boy drifting and jumping wildly in his Subaru Impreza, Block has gained worldwide popularity and built up a loyal fan base. In addition to the cool appearance, the founding of his own skateboard clothing brand 'DC Shoes' certainly contributed to the fact that the Californian now enjoys cult status among young fans.
Block with a proud father
Since the rally scene is currently not blessed with many stars, Ford has now simply secured the services of the 33-year-old. 'I am thrilled to be driving in a Ford rally. You are an important force in this sport,' said the Internet star after his signing. 'From the days of the 1970s Escorts to the Group B RS200 to the current Focus and now the Fiesta - Ford does an excellent job in the rally sector and I couldn't be happier that I'm now part of this tradition.' According to Block, the move from Subaru made his father proud: 'He was always a committed Ford man,' said the US boy.
The rally driver, who has so far attracted more attention through his action appearances in videos and at the X-Games than through championship titles, is set to take off in 2010 as well. According to Ford's plans, the popular American wants to start in the World Rally Championship as well as in the US Championship and the X Games.
Action competitor should get off to a good start
The star in the team should therefore become more than just a stuntman for show events: 'Ken Block has established himself as a sports and action competitor and is a rising star of the American rally scene,' said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Motorsport North America. His European colleague Gerard Quinn also welcomes the newcomer to the team: 'We are delighted that Ken Block has decided to work with Ford to expand his rally activities beyond America to the global stage.'
In the WRC, Block is supposed to drive a Ford Focus, in the USA he is sitting in a Fiesta according to Ford plans. It is not yet known whether Block will also take part in the traditional Pikes Peak race. Started last yearFord launched a major attack on the legendary hill climb with ex-world champion Marcus Grönholm at the wheel of an 800 hp Fiesta. Due to technical problems, however, the victory was missed at the first attempt.