Home > Newsworthy > NEWSWORTHY> Ken Block to Switch Ovals

NEWSWORTHY> Ken Block to Switch Ovals

Photo c/o Modified Magazine.

Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Ham and burgers. What do these things have in common? It seems nearly impossible to have one without the other. Ken Block and Subaru also share this likeness. Regardless, it seems that Ken is leaving the Japanese Pleiades Oval for that of the classic American Blue Oval.

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 6, 2010 – Ford Motor Company announced today that it is teaming up with Ken Block, the California-based action sports icon-turned-rally driver, for future global motorsports opportunities.

Block, the 2005 Rally America Rookie of the Year and a three-time medalist at X Games, has cultivated a tremendous following with his Gymkhana videos on YouTube. In 2010, Block will campaign a Ford Focus in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and a Ford Fiesta in Rally America and X Games.

“I am stoked to be rallying in a Ford. They are an impressive force in the sport,” said Ken Block. “From the days of the 1970s Escorts to the Group B RS200 to the modern-day Focus and now the Fiesta, Ford just does an excellent job at rally and I couldn’t be happier to now be part of this amazing heritage. Not to mention my dad would be proud. He was a dedicated Ford guy.”

“Ken Block has established himself as an action sports competitor and a rising star in the world of American rally racing,” said Jamie Allison, director Ford North America Motorsports. “We are excited to have him on our team to help promote our new global products, the 2011 Ford Fiesta and 2012 Ford Focus.”

Rallying is a crucial part of Ford’s global motorsports strategy and provides the company with the opportunity to showcase the true performance capabilities of Ford’s products. Since its support of rallying began, Ford has won three WRC titles and 73 individual events. And, last year in North America, Ford’s participation in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and X Games 15 were key elements for the launch of the Ford Fiesta for the U.S.

“Thanks to our participation in WRC, rallying has always played a key role in Ford’s global motorsports programs,” said Allison. “Ford is the only manufacturer that could provide Ken with global rally opportunities.”

“We’re delighted that Ken Block has chosen to team up with Ford to develop his rallying activities beyond America and into the global arena,” said Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe’s senior motorsports manager. “Ford and its U.K.-based rally partner, M-Sport, is looking forward to welcoming Ken to the wider team of talented rally drivers using Ford vehicles to compete in this demanding sport at the highest level internationally.”

While it may seem implausible to imagine Ken piloting anything but a Subaru… something tells me that his wild antics and crazy style will follow suit behind the wheel of a Ford.

Best of luck to Ken and his crew in 2010!

:: Andy Sapp

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13 Responses

  1. ImprezaKing

    What! Ken Block in a FORD?! The screen-name alone should tell you how I feel about that. Well, at least it’s not a Mustang…

  2. D1RGE.EXE

    I can guarantee you that 1)Ken wants to move to the top tier of Rally, and 2) Subaru wasn’t gonna change their drivers to let him in, and 3) Ken wasn’t gonna pay for his own ride. As far as being dedicated to one team/one car? C’mon, even the mighty Fangio changed teams like sunglasses. Racing has looked at drivers for a long time as another part in the car, and not the ONLY part of the car. There are no “Franchise Drivers”. Some may have found themselves to be on one make for many years, but that’s it.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see an American flag driving in FIA. And I hope to high hell he kicks major Euro arse over there :):)

  3. Whoa, totally didn’t see this coming. If it were a year or two ago, I would have been disgusted. However, Ford has done a complete 180 and are actually putting out some products that I would actually think about considering, so I think this will be great for both parties.

  4. chippeRX7

    I was surprised at first, but now i think i am happy for him for getting a great corporate ride. He totally deserves it. Whatever he drives he will rip in. GO KEN!!!!!

  5. boooooooo. i mean i love the new fiesta and focussesses are all good, but i can’t help but feel betrayed.

    but in any case, he’s skilled at putting on shows, but having seen him race in person, he’s definitely not top-tier material as certain other folk on this site would have him aspire to be.

  6. Ya, way to go. Hope he does well over there! Too bad its not in a Subie, but hey, you race what you can. Hopefully in a quick couple years, he can do very well in the series.

  7. Niall

    Nice move by Ken, will be good to see alot more of him over this side of the pond, but to be fair the WRC drivers are on a different level to block,
    They are unbelievable drivers, really has to be seen Sebatien Loeb is the King

    I find it funny theres no mention of Chris atkinson in the team he is an awesome driver and could do really weel, he just never had a proper team

  8. D1RGE.EXE

    Dunno how well he’s gonna do, but I guess he’ll never find out until he tries. Either we will see him back in the ol’ US of A in 2 years, or a lot of crap-talking euros gonna be eating a whole lot of humble pie. I have the utmost respect for Loeb and the rest of the current top drivers, they truly are amazing. But I just want to say this….many many people don’t give these action-sports guys much credit, but when they have been going up to the more “serious” vehicles and sports, they have been more than keeping up. So let’s keep our eyes out and watch the fun!

  9. Scotty Doesnt Know

    I deff like Subaru better but he has to go where the opportunity’s are

    As far as Ford goes they build some pretty bad ass cars………….they just dont think any one in America should get them, so screw Ford. If they think getting Ken to drive for them is going to boost sales of that POS of a Focus we get I think they are wrong

  10. Not going to lie, Ford has impressed me in the last year. So much so that I must say, I want a Taurus. It pains me to say it, but the SHO is incredible.

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