It’s been a long, crazy, flat-out year. On January 6th, 2010, Ken Block announced his plan to campaign in the World Rally Championship, while continuing to race every round on the Rally America calendar. But the biggest news was that he’d be doing it all in a Ford under the newly formed Monster World Rally Team. The year—as shown in DC’s newly released Win or Fail? highlight video—was a mix of ups and downs, amazing feats and gutting defeats, but all in all, a hell of a good time.
“This was one of the toughest years of my life and easily my toughest season ever in a rally car,” says Block. “At points it seemed like without bad luck, we had no luck at all. From being plagued with mechanical issues in Rally America to hitting hidden, control-arm-cracking tree stumps in the WRC, it was often hard to find the bright side of things. But with that said, 2010 was still one of my best years ever. Racing in the WRC was always a dream for me, and not only being able to do so, but being able to keep pace with some veteran drivers was a real accomplishment.”
Block’s new program brought with it new challenges, including adapting to three new vehicles. And, despite the four out of six mechanical DNFs in Rally America, along with a few mechanical issues that hampered three possible WRC top 10 finishes for Ken Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino, 2010 had its shining moments for the Monster World Rally Team.
“In Mexico, it was anyone’s guess how Ken would stack up against the WRC drivers,” says team manger Derek Dauncey. “Since the American championship is a bit removed from the WRC and global rally, we were all uncertain where the pace would situate us, but after Ken’s first stage, where he was 9th fastest, we knew we had a WRC driver in the making. Throughout that event Ken continued to impress with formidable stage and split times.”
The following month Block continued to impress at WRC Turkey by setting three sixth fastest stage times, and again in Portugal by matching Super Special stage times with former Formula One champion Kimi Räikkönen on a tarmac course. But lack of experience in pacenote writing for Block and Gelsomino resulted in a few offs that kept the two from securing their first WRC points until WRC Spain—thus making Block the second American to ever score points in the WRC. But, most impressive was Block’s ability to stay within striking distance of the top 5 drivers. Proving on gravel the ability to stay as close as 1 sec/km off the leaders, and 1.4 sec/km on tarmac was a real accomplishment considering that 2010 was Block’s first year driving a WRC car and also his first time really competing on sealed surfaces.
“Overall, this season was a huge success for us,” says Block. “We set out, focused on development, and that’s exactly what we did. We now know better where we need to improve, and I am stoked to continue my development throughout the 2011 season. I know full well, you don’t just become a top level WRC driver overnight… Luckily, the road getting there is quite fun.”
Watch DC’s “Ken Block’s 2010 Season: Win or Fail?” HERE
For 2010 Rally and Gymkhana Images: HERE
More 2010 WRC Facts:
(Rally Mexico, March 2010) On Ken Blocks’ first ever stage in the WRC he set the 9th fastest time (SS1 Alfaro 1).
(Rally of Turkey, April 2010) During the Rally of Turkey, Block secured three sixth place overall stage finishes (SS10 Gocbeyli 1, SS22 Mudarli 2, SS23 Ballica 2), as well as being 1.1-seconds per KM off of Sébastien Ogier’s stage winning time on Turkey’s SS23. Additionally, Block was only 1.6-seconds per KM off of seven time World Champion Sébastien Loeb’s time on Turkey’s SS14.
(Rally de Portugal, May 2010) In Portugal, Block tied 2007 Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen on the event’s Estadio Algarve Super Special stage
(Rallye de France, October 2010) During the WRC’s stop in France, Block won the Abu Dhabi “Spirit of the Rally” award for his perseverance after numerous mechanical issues during the event.
(Rally de España, October 2010) While holding off Citroen driver Sébastien Ogier at his third-ever WRC tarmac round, Block became the second American to ever score points in the World Rally Championship.
(Wales Rally GB, November 2010) At the WRC’s final stop, Block put down two 7th place overall stage finishes on Rally GB’s famed Margam Park 1 and 2 stages.
About Ken Block:
Ken Blockʼs rally career began in 2005. His skill and car control became quickly apparent and Block aptly nabbed Rookie of the Year in the Rally America Championship. Since then, Block has continued to race in the series, boasting a healthy ten overall wins, in addition to numerous podium appearances as well as X Games medals. In addition to his performance in the car, Block has been a driving force in shedding light on the sport within the United States. His keen branding and marketing acumen has allowed Block to achieve global fame as a rally driver through his wildly successful viral videos, which include his record-setting jump for the TV series Stunt Junkies, his scenes in the DC snowboard video Mtn.Lab 1.5 and spy footage of his Subaru TRAX STI project in action, along with his Gymkhana videos. Ad Age named his “Gymkhana TWO” the No. 4 Viral Video of 2009 and his “Gymkhana THREE; Part 2 Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome” the No. 6 Viral Video of 2010. In January 2010, he formed the Monster World Rally Team and signed with Ford to become the first American to campaign in the World Rally Championship, becoming only the second American to ever score points in the WRC during his inaugural 2010 season. Additionally, his signing with Ford included campaigning domestically in racing (Rally America and X Games), as well as continuing to do gymkhana. Block co-founded DC Shoes, a worldwide leader in performance skateboarding shoes and a renowned action sports brand.
About Monster World Rally Team
Created and assembled by Ken Block, the object of the Monster World Rally Team is to redefine the race-team archetype. The team is driven not only to win, but to also market motorsport through innovative, creative and interactive ways. The team is supported by Monster Energy, Ford Motor Company, DC Shoes, Mobil 1, Pirelli Tires and the Dirt3 videogame.
Follow us at www.monsterworldrallyteam.com