Block closing on WRC return with Ford

Group Rallying Editor
@davidevansrally

Ken Block could return to this year’s World Rally Championship as part of his revamped programme with Ford Performance.

Block’s Ford-backed Hoonigan Racing Division pulled out of World Rallycross at the end of last season and is currently considering options for the coming year.

Selected events at home in America are likely for the gymkhana star, but a WRC return is also being talked about with Ford.

Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook told Motorsport News: “Ken’s been a great partner and we continue that relationship. We’re definitely going to see Ken Block in a Ford through this year.”

Asked about the chances of a return to WRC action, Rushbrook added: “There’s definitely some consideration for that, but still need to work through some things to make it happen.

“Ken is a fabulous driver; I’ve been in the passenger seat with him and I’ve got a lot of belief in him behind the wheel and he has a lot of social media reach for us. The relationship works.”

Ken Block could be nearing a WRC return for the first time since 2014. Pic: Mcklein-imagedatabase.com

Block has recently acquired two of Ford’s most sought-after rally cars. He is expected to run a 1993 Ford Escort RS Cosworth in original Group A trim at some point this year, while he has rebuilt a genuine Group B RS200 for the road.

“We’re happy to see Ken in Ford heritage cars,” added Rushbrook. “We wouldn’t want it to be all heritage, it needs to be a mix of old and new.”

Block said: “I am intending on heading back out into the woods to do some stage rallies in 2018 and the Escort is one of the vehicles I plan on racing on gravel. I’m very excited about it.

Block’s biggest WRC programme was nine rounds in 2011, two of which he finished in the top 10 in a Ford Focus RS WRC. Since then, he has competed on one-off events, but hasn’t been seen in WRC since Spain in 2014. He has, however, always admitted he wanted to return and see more action at a world level.

Block’s Group A Escort will run at some point

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