Ken Block Taking a New Ford Focus RS to World RallyCross
Ken Block is known worldwide for his incredible driving skills on display in his online Gymkhana videos, but over the past few years, Block has proven to be one of the top dogs in the American-based Global RallyCross Championship. For the 2016 racing season, Block has stepped away from GRC, instead joining former GRC champion Topi Heikkinen in the FIA World RallyCross Championship that races all over Europe. When the announcement was made earlier this year, there was no mention of a new car and because of that, we were left to assume that he would be running a similar Ford Fiesta ST RX43 to the one that he ran in the GRC, but at the end of his latest Gymkhana 8 video – the new Ford Focus RS rally car was shown for the first time.
That video teaser at the end of Ken Block’s Gymkhana 8 was followed up by a full press release, offering up the basic information on the new Focus RS rally car and – of course – a quote from Ken Block.
"I'm really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance," said Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block. "To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible. It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. Plus, have you seen the car that they've created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me in Dearborn a few months ago. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing."
Ford Focus RS Race Car
Ken Block will be joined by Andreas Bakkerud as the Hoonigan Racing Division team fields a pair of new Focus RS race cars in the 2016 FIA World RallyCross Championship. These cars will be powered by an EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine delivering 600 horsepower and 663lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a sequential transmission and a high performance all-wheel drive system. This drivetrain, which was put together with help from UK-based M-Sport will launch the new Focus RS from a stop up to 60 miles per hour in less than 2 seconds
“We’ve dedicated the same level of cutting-edge tools, technical resources and engineering know-how from our Le Mans GT and NASCAR programs, and working with M-Sport brings renowned expertise in rallycross and stage rally vehicle development,” said Mark Rushbrook, motorsports engineering manager, Ford Performance. “Ken, Andreas Bakkerud and Hoonigan Racing give us insight from the competition and driver perspectives. Our three organizations have a great working relationship, and we’re all looking forward to seeing the Focus RS in action.”
The debut of this Ford Focus RS race car will take place in Portugal on April 15-17, as Block and his team take on the field of the greatest rallycross racers in the world during the first stage of the 2016 World RallyCross Championship.
To show off the history of the RS racing program, Ford has put together the short video below, so while you are waiting for the new Focus RS race car to hit the track – check out the cars that led up to the modern Focus RS.