September 13th, 2011, Coffs Harbour, Australia – Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino made the long haul down to Australia this past weekend to participate in Rally Australia, the 10th stop of the 2011 WRC calendar. After a rally of ups and downs, Block ended the race in impressive fashion—taking 5th on the final stage of the rally, the live, televised Power Stage.
Building upon an improved Day 2 where he’d run consistently in the the top-10 stage times as he regained confidence in his pace notes, after a minor note error on Day 1 sent him and his Ford Fiesta RS WRC into the trees, Block went to maximum attack on the Day 3 stages of WRC Australia, making massive improvements in his stage time finishes.
“I felt good today,” said Block. “After running sort of conservatively on Saturday, I was a bit more confident in my notes today and I think that showed in some of the times we were putting down. I had a few stages where I was the 6th fastest down the course and I was able to snag the 5th fastest time on the Power Stage, which is just awesome. I’m really stoked about that.”
On SS23, Block was the 6th fastest down the stage, being only 1.5-seconds behind the time put down by the stage winner, Sebastian Loeb. SS25, the longest stage of the day at 30 kilometers, was another one where Block’s increased pace led him to a 6th fastest time as well—an impressive feat, especially when the distance of the stage is factored in. However, Block’s most impressive score of the day came at the very end of the rally during the live, televised Power Stage. Running first on course, Block and Gelsomino ripped through the stage, breaking the fastest time set by Sebastian Loeb earlier in the morning, securing the 5th fastest pass of the day and running just 1.7-seconds off of Mikko Hirvonen, who would go on to win the rally overall.
“I’ve had a great weekend here in Australia,” said Block. “The fans are some of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever seen and the roads are amazing. If I could just forget about Friday, the race would have been perfect. It really sucks that one wrong note with the wrong turn can ruin the whole weekend, but that’s rally. Either way, I still had a good race and I’m stoked with how much I improved on Day 3 compared to the first two days of the rally.”
Block’s next competitive event is the upcoming is Rallye de France Alsace, September 29 – October 2, where he’ll be trading in the gravel of Australia for tarmac. Until then, follow the team at monsterworldrallyteam.com, facebook.com/KenBlockRacing and facebook.com/MonsterWorldRallyTeam.
For images of Ken Block and the Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC in action at Rally Australia: https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/11444926/1/OZ%20Selects?h=650a55
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.
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