Ken Block Running a Full Season After 8 Year Absence
Block is eager to compete for the 2021 ARA championship, after an 8-year absence from running a full season of stage rally. His last full season of the championship ended violently, in a battle that came down to the wire at the final round at LSPR in 2013. A rollover at 94mph took away what otherwise could have been the win to secure Block’s championship win.
Due to scheduling conflicts, Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino will undergo a tricky rally season this year, racing only 7 of the 9 events on the calendar. “I’m definitely the underdog this season,” said Block. “This is a completely new car for me, and Travis Pastrana has already won the first two events of the year, in a race car he’s been racing for a few years now. So, Alex and I have our work cut out for us! I have to quickly get comfortable in an all-new car and battle against a very talented driver that already has two wins this season! But, that’s racing. We’re going to give it our all.”
Later in the year is when things get really interesting for Block. In early November, Block is set to pilot a Tuthill Porsche-built air-cooled Porsche 911 for the East African Safari Classic Rally. Spanning 10 days and nearly 5000 km on Kenya’s tough gravel roads, it’s often regarded as the world's greatest classic rally.
The day after the East African rally is scheduled to end, Block will head straight to Baja, Mexico to start the pre-run of the Baja 1000, then buckle into a Trophy Truck for his first-ever attempt at the legendary off-road race. He seeks to answer the question: “Can a rally driver translate his skills directly to the world of off-road truck racing?”
For the event, he’s teaming up with 16-year-old Jax Redline, an up-and-coming off-road racer who just took 5th overall at last weekend’s San Felipe 250. “Jax is one of the young and very talented drivers in the sport and I am stoked to be partnered with him in this big effort to go take on one of the biggest off-road races in the world!” said Block.
And because no year is complete without a family-sized serving of hoonage, Block is set to star in the next chapter of his award-winning Gymkhana franchise - launching this year! When asked about the details of the film, Block replied “It’s all a big secret at this point. But, there will be a lot more info on this - along with a new manufacturer partnership - which will be announced very soon. I am very excited about this one! We will be pushing the levels of film and automotive technology in ways we have never done before.”
In retrospect, Block put together a string of amazing drives across the globe last year - despite a pandemic tearing 2020’s schedule apart. Taking wins at Rally Barbados, Rally Legend in San Marino, and at the inaugural Projekt - E race in Sweden, as well as 2nd overall for ARA’s Southern Ohio Forest Rally, and even hammering the Saudi desert in Extreme E - setting a time that would have been 3rd fastest in the last stage of that epic rally. It was a big year for Block and Hoonigan Racing, and 2021 looks to be even bigger.
KEN BLOCK’S 2021 SCHEDULE
Olympus Rally April 24-25
Southern Ohio Forest Rally June 11-12
New England Forest Rally July 30-31
Ojibwe Forest Rally August 27-28
Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally September 17-18
Lake Superior Performance Rally October 15-16
East Africa Safari Classic Rally: November 1-9
SCORE Baja 1000: November 15-20