Block delayed in service

Ken Block's return to the Rally de France stages did not go quite to plan this morning, with the American driver dropping five places in service after the team was forced to replace a hydraulic actuator on his Ford Focus RS WRC

Block delayed in service

The Gymkhana star had suffered a problem with the hydraulics on the final stage of day one, forcing him to use the car's manual gearshift rather than the hydraulically assisted version. The car's differentials were also affected, making the car more difficult to drive in what was arguably the toughest stage of the day.

The Monster Ford team changed the car's hydraulic actuator last night, believing they had cured the problem. When Block went to leave service in Strasbourg this morning, the problem had returned, forcing the crew to fit another new actuator at a cost of one minute and 40 seconds and five places on the leaderboard.

Team manager Derek Dauncey said: "It's a tough start to the day, but the guys are here to gain experience and they're certainly going to get that today.

"We were pleased with the way yesterday went, he had some clean stages and was enjoying the roads in the morning. It was tougher in the afternoon with the conditions and the hydraulic problem didn't help. The part was changed this morning and it was a big job, but it's sorted now and Ken's looking forward to a good day."

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