June 25th, 2012, Auckland, New Zealand – Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino headed into WRC New Zealand having only raced their 2012 Ford Fiesta RS WRC once previously this season in Mexico, nearly 4 months ago. Despite this lack of seat time however, they successfully navigated the gravel stages around Auckland to bring home a 9th overall finish, as well as two additional championship points. This brings their total to four on the year (two previous points are from their 9th overall finish at WRC Mexico earlier in the season).
“I’m stoked with how this rally went for us,” said Block. “The roads here in New Zealand are some of the best in the world. The camber in the corners is such a unique feature here, there’s truly nowhere else like it. I wish the rally wasn’t over actually, I could just keep driving these roads, they’re that much fun. It was also awesome being able to battle with three great rally drivers. Throughout the rally, I was jockeying for position against Manfred Stohl, Armindo Araújo and Jari Ketomaa, all of whom are great drivers, so it made the rally really enjoyable and challenging for me. ”
Starting the rally 11th fastest during qualifying on Thursday, the MWRT duo managed to secure 9th on road during the opening ceremony road position drawing. With the mix of dry and wet stages, the middle-pack placement was advantageous, and by the end of day one, Block had moved into 10th overall, a points scoring position. Running clean and tidy the remainder of the rally, the pair moved up a position to cross the finish line 9th overall.
This finish in New Zealand marks the fourth rally of their last five WRC appearances where Ken and Alex have finished in the top 10 and scored championship points (WRC France 2011: 8th, WRC GB 2011: 9th, WRC Mexico 2012: 9th, WRC New Zealand 2012: 9th).
“Ken has been very impressive today,” said Ford team principle Malcolm Wilson. “He’s been consistent and quick throughout and not put a foot wrong, we’re very pleased with that.”
Block’s next WRC appearance will be WRC Finland, August 2 – 4. This week, however, he heads back to America to compete in Global RallyCross Round 3 at X Games 18 in Los Angeles. To follow Block and the Monster World Rally Team through all of their races this season, go to monsterworldrallyteam.com.
About Ken Block:
Ken Blockʼs rally career began in 2005. His skill and car control became quickly apparent and Block aptly nabbed Rookie of the Year in the Rally America Championship. Since then, Block has continued to race in the series, boasting a healthy ten overall wins, in addition to numerous podium appearances as well as X Games medals. In addition to his performance in the car, Block has been a driving force in shedding light on the sport within the United States. His keen branding and marketing acumen has allowed Block to achieve global fame as a rally driver through his wildly successful viral videos, which include his record-setting jump for the TV series Stunt Junkies, his scenes in the DC snowboard video Mtn.Lab 1.5 and spy footage of his Subaru TRAX STI project in action, along with his Gymkhana videos. Ad Age named his “Gymkhana TWO” the No. 4 Viral Video of 2009 and his “Gymkhana THREE; Part 2 Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome” the No. 6 Viral Video of 2010. At the start of 2012, Gymkhana FOUR: The Hollywood Megamercial was named the top-shared viral add of 2011 by Marketing Magazine Australia. In January 2010, he formed the Monster World Rally Team and signed with Ford to become the first American to campaign in the World Rally Championship, becoming only the second American to ever score points in the WRC during his inaugural 2010 season. Additionally, his signing with Ford included campaigning domestically in racing (Global RallyCross, X Games and Rally America), as well as continuing to do gymkhana. Block co-founded DC Shoes, a worldwide leader in performance skateboarding shoes and a renowned action sports brand.
About Monster World Rally Team:
Created and assembled by Ken Block, the object of the Monster World Rally Team is to redefine the race-team archetype. The team is driven not only to win, but to also market motorsport through innovative, creative and interactive ways. The team is supported by Monster Energy, Ford Motor Company, DC Shoes, Pirelli Tires and the DiRT Showdown videogame.
For more information contact: Matt Tuccillo
Follow us at www.monsterworldrallyteam.com http://www.monsterworldrallyteam.com/
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