Ken Block is returning to rallycross this year to compete in selected events using his updated Focus RS RX.
Ken Block's world-renowned driving prowess has made him a staple of the Americas Rallycross Championship. We've already seen his vintage Escort Cosworth rally car that will tear up stages around the globe this year, and now Block has revealed his updated Ford Focus RS RX that will compete in select rallycross events. Revealed at the Circuit of the Americas, the development of the new rallycross Focus is the result of a new partnership between Block and his teammate Steve Arpin and Loenbro Motorsports.
Block and Hoonigan were able to utilize their motorsports marketing expertise, while Arpin brings extensive technical prowess for developing and running rallycross cars. The car's livery has been updated to reflect the new partnership, but in terms of performance the rally-prepped Ford Focus RS is otherwise identical to last year's car aside from a few minor tweaks to meet regulations. The specifications haven't been revealed, but the 2017 Focus RS RX was powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to deliver 600 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a Sadev 6-Speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive system, it could sprint from 0-62 mph in less than two seconds.
"When I made the decision to return to a handful of rallycross events this year, I knew partnering with Steve [Arpin] and his team was the right move," said Block. "I've always liked Steve as a driver and I had been keeping an eye on how he and his team had developed the older Ford Fiesta RX43 chassis and were still achieving top results with it, so I knew I wanted to work with them with our Focus RS RX. When I made that decision, Ford stepped up and decided to then supply Steve a Focus RS RX of his own to further help assist in the development. Needless to say, I'm very excited about the forward progress they've made and I can't wait to get back behind the wheel at the race in Austin July 14th!"
"Obviously I'm excited about partnering with Ken [Block] this season," Arpin added. "He and I have always gotten along great at the track in the past and I think we're both in a position to help each other this year. I'm also happy about the fact that Ford Performance entrusted myself and my team to help further develop the Focus RS RX rallycross program, the car has felt amazing in our testing with the revisions we've made and I'm really eager to get it out on track and put it to the ultimate test against the competition." Block is no longer a full-time rally driver, but both drivers will compete in the three remaining ARX races.
The first will take place place in Austin, at Circuit of the Americas on July 14, followed by Trois Rivieres in Quebec, Canada on August 4 to 5, before returning to Austin at COTA September 29 to 30. Block will also compete In the US round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, taking place the same weekend. Additionally, both drivers will compete at Travis Pastrana's Nitro World Games rallycross event, taking place September 22 and 23 at the Utah Motorsports Complex outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.