Ken Block is the undisputed king of automotive badassery. Not only does he play a major part in creating incredibly entertaining videos starring a methanol breathing twin turbo 1,400hp monster known as the Hoonicorn V2, but he also races in the FIA World Rallycross Championship for a team that bears the name of the company he started. If that doesn’t do it for you, he’s also the Global Ambassador for Ford Performance. Block, Ford, and Hoonigan Racing have done well for themselves in the FIA Rallycross, but according to a recent announcement they’ve all decided to throw in the towel at the end of the 2017 season.
This is sad news for Block’s teammate Andreas Bakkerud who put on an impressive performance every time he got behind the wheel of his Ford Focus RS RX. But he’s an incredibly talented driver and according to Block, “he put in a tremendous effort to try and bring home a title with us. He’s one of the most talented drivers I’ve ever worked with and I’m honored to have been able to have him as my teammate. I’m fully confident that he’s going to be snatched up by one of the other teams in the World RX paddock as soon as the news gets out that he’s available for the 2018 season, and I’m looking forward to shipping him a bottle of champagne when he finally brings home a championship for himself.”
The reason for the pullout all boils down to the “economics of motorsports.” Basically, Rallycross is evolving and there could be some major rule changes which will include powertrain restrictions as well as many other things that are currently undetermined. That, of course, would require developing a new race car in order to remain competitive and that is expensive. Global Director of Ford Performance Dave Pericak said in an official press release that “it made sense for us to pause until it’s better defined.” However, he did continue on to say ” Rest assured, we remain absolutely committed to hot hatches and all things performance and think rallycross has a bright future.” The key word there is “pause,” which means that we could see Ford Performance one day making its return to the series.
What does this mean for Block and the Hoonigan Racing Division? Selfishly, I hope that means we will be seeing more frequent videos like his latest releases Climbkhana and Terrakhana. But who knows, maybe he has plans of making a return to the Red Bull Global Rallycross which he stopped in 2015 to shift all of his focus on the FIA. Granted, that’s pure speculation at this point and it’s far more likely that Block will take some much needed time off to spend with his family, but still we hope he doesn’t let that spectacular Hoonicorn V2 sit for too long considering that would be a crime against humanity, or at least the moto enthusiasts of the world.