Ken Block's Beautiful 1991 Ford Escort RS Burns to a Crisp in the New England Forest Rally

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If you’ve ever gone to a rally event, you know things can get real sketchy real quick. It’s part of the beauty of the sport—spectators help shove cars back on track that go careening into the forest, cars fly by with huge chunks of the bodywork missing and everything else held together with duct tape. But sometimes, things are beautiful in, uh, a different way. For example, watching Ken Block’s rally car engulfed in flame like you’re watching a performance art piece.

This weekend sees the New England Forest Rally taking place in Maine. If you’ve never made your way out there, you should definitely go at least once in your life. Although, I’m pretty sure Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino might have regretted taking on the challenge this weekend.

During Friday’s Stage Four event, disaster struck. Block and Gelsomino were running a solid third place overall when mechanical failure really ruined their day. Going into a tight left hand turn, the gearbox decided that it definitely was not interested in listening to what Ken Block had to say. It shifted too late, and their beautiful 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth was pitched into a rock.


After rolling over twice, Block decided to keep going. They’d fallen on their wheels, after all, and this is rally, you don’t just give up because of some meager little crash.

Well. At least until the fire started.

According to Block, shit went down pretty quick. After the spark started going, the whole car ended up in flames. Block and Gelsomino managed to get out of harm’s way (after capturing their escape on a GoPro, because hell yeah rally). The same can’t really be said about their poor Cossie, though.


This isn’t something I can say all that often, but for all of you reading out there: I hope your weekend has kicked off way better than Ken Block’s has.