Ken Block's Ford Fiesta made its competition debut this weekend at Michigan's Sno*Drift Rally. Block retired early with suspension problems, but his car lived long enough to give the world some wicked video. Special-stage snow hoonage and gallery action below.
Oh, Ken Block, how we love you. You haul down gravel roads like a man possessed. You appear to own a Cosworth-powered Ford Escort. You are friendly and approachable. You seem like a normal dude, a normal dude who just happens to like driving balls-out sideways through the woods. We want to be your friend. We will totally not get all weird and stalkery, unless you refuse our love, at which point we will likely go cry at home and write "Mr. Jalopnik D.C. Block" a hundred times in our yearbook while painting hearts on the wall in nail polish and listening to bad Electric Light Orchestra songs. We love you. Don't tell our wife.
The Condensed Ken Block Race Report: Block won the first stage — his first competition outing in the car — but his Fiesta suffered a suspension failure (reportedly a balljoint) on the seventh stage of Sno*Drift's first day. According to Monster/Ford representatives, the part in question gave way in sixth gear at an estimated 100-110 mph. The suspension is suspected to have suffered damage earlier in the day. Block issued the following statement after his DNF:
"Everything started great, which was unexpected with this being my first time really racing the Fiesta. The conditions were really bad, possibly the iciest roads I have ever raced, so my plan was to drive on the conservative side, which I was doing. Then the suspension went after taking a few minor impacts and I was out, just like that. And while obviously disappointed, I am really looking forward to [the rally of the] 100 Acre Wood [in February]. The Fiesta has so much torque and was running so strong; it will be great to see what it can do with proper traction."
OK, that's our shameless fanboy gush for the week. We now return you to your normal Jalopnik programming: In-car footage of Sno*Drift practice and video from the event's tech inspection (check the underhood shot) can be found below. World Rally Sport's complete tech-inspection gallery can be found here. Their audio interview with Block (worth a listen, if only to hear the the man joke about how Michigan hates him and keeps eating his cars) is here. Check Monster World Rally Team for updates as the season progresses.
Image Credits: Monster World Rally Team/Mark J. Rebilas; World Rally Sport/Young, La Torre