Ken Block commits to World Rallycross Championship for 2016

Ken Block will contest the full 2016 World Rallycross Championship at the wheel of a factory Ford Fiesta ST

Ken Block commits to World Rallycross Championship for 2016

The American has set aside all his other motorsport commitments to focus on landing the FIA title.

"I've never really had the time or the budget to focus on one championship," Block told Autosport. "So to be able to do this with Ford is just the best news for me.

"It really means a lot to be competing for an FIA world title, there's a lot of prestige in there and accomplishing something like that would be huge for me."

Block said Ford had significantly increased its involvement in his programme.

"When I switched from Subaru six years ago, Ford was a sponsor. They gave me some money and told me to go and do what I wanted to do, but this year it's different," he said.

"This time we're getting so much more technical support - they're really working alongside us on this one."

Block's Fiesta will still be prepared by M-Sport and run by his own Hoonigan Racing Division.

He has competed in World RX before, finishing third on his series debut in Norway in 2014.

"There's a lot of competition in World RX," said Block, "and obviously Petter [Solberg] is the guy with the most success.

"I know Petter really well, we come from a similar background of rallying and I'm really looking forward to taking him and the rest of those guys on."

Block's World RX deal is understood to be a multi-year agreement, which means he is unlikely to be seen in rallying in the near future.

"There's not the budget to do stage rallying as well as this," said Block.

"I'll certainly come back to it in the future, but for now I'm stoked to have Ford with me for World Rallycross."

Block will still continue his video work, with his latest Ford Escort Mk II likely to feature in the latest Gymkhana film later this season.

AUTOSPORT SAYS...
David Evans, rallies editor
@davidevansrally

It's impossible not to be enthused by Ken Block. Even with the remnants of a cold hanging over him, the excitement at the start of a new season resonates down the telephone.

And, much as I, the World Rally Championship and Rally America will miss KB this season, it's good for him to get the chance to prove what he can do over the stretch of an FIA-sanctioned season.

Block's love of rallying is well documented, but the cut and thrust of World RX is a good fit. And it's clearly a discipline he's suited to, winning three Global Rallycross rounds last season and showing well on his World RX debut two years ago.

The WRC should watch and learn this year as World RX will, no doubt, make the most out of its new partnership with Block and with Ford.

The American's social media status is second to none in motorsport, and that medium remains an area of significant weakness for the WRC.

It would have been nice to see Ken in a rally car again this year, but the chance to see him aiming 550bhp at the apex of Lydden's Devil's Elbow is, I suppose, not a bad second best.

shares
comments
Volkswagen's top World Rallycross Championship teams merge for 2016

Previous article

Volkswagen's top World Rallycross Championship teams merge for 2016

Next article

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb joins World Rallycross with Peugeot

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb joins World Rallycross with Peugeot
Load comments
From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10 Plus

From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10

Petter Solberg has called time on his top-flight career after winning titles in two FIA world championships. Here, the 2003 rally and '14/15 rallycross king recalls his 10 best events - including the moment where all his success began

World Rallycross
Nov 7, 2019
How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX Plus

How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX

World Rallycross makes its first appearance at Silverstone this year as part of the 'Speedmachine' festival in May. We take a look at how the new rallycross track fared in its debut event

World Rallycross
Mar 22, 2018
Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely Plus

Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely

Volkswagen's abrupt departure from the World Rally Championship it was dominating was one of the winter's biggest shocks. Now 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg's World Rallycross team has VW support. What does that mean for World RX and what remains of Volkswagen Motorsport?

World Rallycross
Apr 3, 2017
Why rallycross is becoming irresistible Plus

Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Sebastien Loeb started a new journey in his motorsport career last weekend, but he wasn't the only attraction in Portugal. DAVID EVANS examines why the World Rallycross product works so well

World Rallycross
Apr 21, 2016
How good is World Rallycross? Plus

How good is World Rallycross?

The entries are strong, the cars are powerful and it can teach the WRC a thing or two about promotion. But after visiting the Lydden Hill round, DAVID EVANS still has his doubts

World Rallycross
May 30, 2014
New rallycross golden age comes to Britain Plus

New rallycross golden age comes to Britain

The sport began at Lydden in the late 1960s and this weekend the new-look World Rallycross Championship will strut its stuff at the Kent venue. HAL RIDGE explains why it will be unmissable

World Rallycross
May 23, 2014
Solberg: why rallycross is my future Plus

Solberg: why rallycross is my future

PETTER SOLBERG had a rough first season back in rallycross, but that hasn't deterred him from signing up for the first year of its new era in 2014, as he explains in his AUTOSPORT column

World Rallycross
Oct 16, 2013
Solberg: back to school Plus

Solberg: back to school

Petter Solberg says that there's still lots to learn about running a successful rallycross campaign, but he's really enjoying getting back to his roots

World Rallycross
Apr 2, 2013