Ken Block has handed in the keys to his usual ride – a Subaru Impreza WRX STI – and stepped into a rally-spec Ford Fiesta as part of a new deal with Ford which will see him compete in the Rally America Championship as well as the FIA 2010 World Rally Championship.
As part of the newly formed Monster World Rally team, Block’s entry into the WRC is history in the making as he becomes the first American to contest the world stages as part of a multi-year program.
“Not only is Ken a cult hero to our consumers through his gymkhana videos and other stunts, the fact that he will be the first American racer to compete in the 38-year history of the World Rally Championship is truly impressive.” says Monster Energy President Mark Hall.
Block’s expectations for the 2010 WRC season are modest, saying that he would be “dreaming” if he promised a podium finish in the near future.
“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.” says Block.
Instead Block says he will focus on developing his ability for a successful future in the WRC for 2011 and beyond.
For the WRC, Block will be racing in a Focus RS prepared by M-Sport, the company behind all of Ford’s World Rally efforts.
“Ken has been instrumental in elevating the public awareness of rallying throughout the world with his multimedia exploits, particularly in the U.S. which is a key global market and an area where WRC has yet to reach its full potential.” said M-Sport’s Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson.
Back in the States, Ken will be racing in both the Rally America Championship and X Games in the all-new Ford Fiesta, prepared by Olsbergs MSE, wearing a familiar livery combination featuring his regular sponsors: Monster Energy Drink, Dirt2 and Castrol Edge as well as the skateboard footwear company Block co-founded, DC Shoes.