WRC GERMANY: TESTING 1-2-3, BLOCK HITS THE TARMAC FOR THE FIRST TIME. + VIDEO
Just outside of Brauneberg, Germany, a town 45 minutes east of the Rally Deutschland start, Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino suited up for their first-ever WRC tarmac test in preparation for this weekend’s rally, which will be the first all-tarmac event the two will campaign in the Monster Energy Ford Focus RS WRC.
“With zero tarmac rounds in the Rally America series, Alex and I are at a huge disadvantage here in Germany,” says Block. “We have only raced two tarmac events before, and while we did win both of those events, I have no expectations of keeping up with the veteran drivers here.”
On hand to help Block at the test was factory Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who not only gave Mr. Four-Three a few education-filled laps in the passenger seat of his test car, but also jumped in with Block to point out the quickest ways to attack different sections in order to gain seconds wherever he could.
“Sitting in the car with Jari-Matti made me well aware of how much I still have to learn about tarmac driving.” says Block. “It’s going to be a challenge, but a good one. This test was one of the best days I have ever had in rally car. I am really looking forward to improving my skills on sealed surfaces as I put down more and more stage miles on tarmac not just here in Germany, but over our next two rallies as well.”
After only a short day of testing, Block and Gelsomino were already showing incredible improvement on the test stage, and now head into what is often considered one of the most challenging rallies on the calendar with a bit more confidence.
Follow the Monster World Rally Team both here and on Twitter all week for race updates.