Ken Block finishes Rally Germany, the WRC’s toughest tarmac round


After three days of grueling stages, challenging roads and setbacks at
Rally Deutschland, Monster World Rally Team drivers Ken Block and Alex
Gelsomino have successfully finished what is arguably the most
difficult tarmac rally of the 2011 WRC calendar. After falling just
short of the finish line last year due to an alternator failure, while
sitting in 9th overall, the goal for the duo this year at WRC Germany
was to focus on one thing: survival.
Every stop of the WRC circuit is a war of attrition and this one was
perhaps one of the worst in recent memory for all of the teams
participating. Fellow Ford drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti
Latvala each had troubles, with Hirvonen falling victim to multiple
tire punctures and Jari-Matti suffering a puncture on day 2 which led
to a crash that knocked him out for the remainder of the day. He would
go on to finish the rally 14th overall, just three places ahead of
Block. Another Ford teammate, Mads Østberg, suffered a crash on day 2
that left his car damaged beyond repair. Even drivers like Citroen’s
Sebastian Loeb had trouble at this year’s Rally Deutschland. Loeb
suffered a puncture on day 2 that ended up handing over the first
place to his teammate Sebastian Ogier and costing him the win on
“This was just a really tough weekend for me,” said Block. “Last year
I came out to Germany and was putting down pretty good stage times.
This year, I just wasn’t able to put it together. It’s very
frustrating and I’m definitely not happy about it, but based on how
everyone else’s weekend went, I clearly wasn’t alone in my struggles.
It seemed like a difficult race for everybody. At the end of the day,
I need to remember that I just don’t have the same level experience as
the rest of the field when it comes to tarmac and be pleased that the
setbacks we ran into weren’t more serious.”
With Rally Germany being Block’s 4th WRC tarmac event, and just his
6th tarmac event ever, he’s still a driver who’s in the process of
getting acquainted with the specific intricacies that tarmac presents
to a rally driver.
“While the standings and numbers may not indicate it, Ken did well
this weekend,” said team manager Derek Dauncey. “After being knocked
out just before the finish last year due to mechanical issues, our
goal here for Ken this time was to complete the rally, which he did.
This rally isn’t easy, even for drivers with years and years of tarmac
experience, so to survive and make it to the end when it’s only your
4th time racing tarmac at this level is a very respectable finish.”
The next stop of the 2011 WRC season takes the Monster World Rally
Team to Australia, returning the racing to gravel, a surface Block is
much more familiar with. Until then, follow the team at and
For images of Ken Block and the Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta
RS WRC in action at Rally Germany:

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
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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