Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Get’s Ford Factory Backing!

IMG_6394If you’re into racing or race yourself you know that this announcement is impressive.  Every driver wants to earn a spot on a factory program whether your Ken Block or Bill Caswell. Even cooler is that its his team that has become factory backed. Somehow Ken went from running a crazy successful company to rally racing to Gymkhana YouTube Superstar, to the WRC and scoring points in the WRC, to rallycross, World Rallycross, and now a factory backed driver and team. Nice Work Ken.

The full press release is below, but the short of it is that Ken Block is shifting his sights from the Red Bull GRC to the FIA World Rallycross Championship with factory backing from Ford. “I’m stoked to be able to compete for an FIA World Rallycross title!” said Block. “I’ve really enjoyed my past six years racing with Ford and to renew my relationship with them moving forward, as well as receiving an increased level of involvement from Ford Performance, to compete for a World Rallycross Championship, well, I couldn’t be happier!”

In 2014, Block competed in his first World Rallycross round in Norway, where he celebrated a podium finish (3rd) in his maiden event. He then followed up with an appearance at the 2014 French round, finishing fourth overall and setting the fastest lap of the event. With his renewed partnership with Ford Performance, as well as their factory support, the team’s goal is to compete for a world title in 2016. Here’s the provisional calendar.

2016 WORLD RX CALENDAR

  1. PORTUGAL – MONTALEGRE – 16/17 APRIL
  2. GERMANY – HOCKENHEIM – 7/8 MAY
  3. BELGIUM – METTET – 14/15 MAY
  4. UK – LYDDEN HILL – 28/29 MAY
  5. NORWAY – HELL – 11/12 JUNE
  6. SWEDEN – HOLJES – 2/3 JULY
  7. CANADA – TROIS-RIVIERES – 6/7 AUGUST
  8. FRANCE – LOHEAC – 3/4 SEPTEMBER
  9. SPAIN – BARCELONA – 17/18 SEPTEMBER
  10. LATVIA – RIGA – 1/2 OCTOBER
  11. GERMANY – ESTERING – 15/16 OCTOBER
  12. ARGENTINA – ROSARIO – 26/27 NOVEMBER

IMG_6394

KEN BLOCK AND FORD PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCE COMMITMENT TO FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS FOR 2016 RACE SEASON
PARK CITY, UT, January 13, 2016 — Hoonigan Racing Division, in conjunction with Ford Performance, is pleased to announce that professional rallycross driver, Gymkhana star and Head Hoonigan in Charge, Ken Block, will extend his factory partnership with Ford Performance to pursue the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
“For a big portion of my career I’ve maintained a mixed focus and kept a diverse race calendar, but now I’ll be focusing myself fully on one single championship,” said Block. “I’ve been stoked with what my team and I have accomplished so far with my Ford Fiesta ST racecars and I’m excited to see what we’ll be able to do next season with factory support. It’s going to be a very exciting 2016 and I can’t wait to get started. Thanks again to Ford for being an awesome partner.”
Block stands out as one of the top competitors in the world of rallycross and is among the winningest drivers in GRC, coming within five points of winning the 2014 championship. In 2015, Block scored three events wins, led the championship for 10 of the 12 rounds and was the leading points contributor in helping Ford secure its 5th GRC Manufacturers Championship.
In 2014, Block competed in his first World Rallycross round in Norway, where he celebrated a podium finish (3rd) in his maiden event. He then followed up with an appearance at the 2014 French round, finishing fourth overall and setting the fastest lap of the event. With his renewed partnership with Ford Performance, as well as their factory support, the team’s goal is to compete for a world title.
“I’m stoked to be able to compete for an FIA World Rallycross title!” said Block. “I’ve really enjoyed my past six years racing with Ford and to renew my relationship with them moving forward, as well as receiving an increased level of involvement from Ford Performance, to compete for a World Rallycross Championship, well, I couldn’t be happier!”
“The past year we have been working hard to celebrate Ford Performance as a global brand serving enthusiasts with world-class products and motorsports fans with on-track success around the globe,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director of Ford Performance. “In looking at the great success we’ve had with Fiesta ST in the Global Rallycross Championship—29 race wins and five manufacturers’ championships the past five years—everyone felt the time was right to take on a new challenge of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.”
“Ken is more than a driver or a partner to us, he’s a member of the Ford Performance team. He continues to be an advocate for enthusiasts around the world and we engage him frequently in product and motorsports discussions,” Pericak added. “We know Ken’s team is the right one to help us pursue our goal of winning an FIA World Rallycross Championship title and tell the Ford Performance story. Ford and Ford Performance are global brands, just like Ken, so it’s a great match for all of us involved.”
Block and Ford Performance will begin their pursuit of a World Championship when the 2016 WorldRX race calendar kicks off in Portugal, April 16th and 17th. Be sure to tune in between now and then however, as there will be plenty more announcements in the near future.

Bill Caswell is a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator, and rose to internet fame taking a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. His exploits have featured in places like ESPN Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, NPR Radio, Wired.com and Jalopnik.com. A lifelong fan of rally and motorsport, Caswell famously believes nothing to be impossible.