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Ken Block's Escort Cosworth Motor Blew Up On Rally Debut

Ken Block’s Cossie World Tour is exactly what I would be doing if I were him. He’s a pretty talented rally driver, considering he started so late in life, and he doesn’t want to worry about running a full series, so he’s just doing the events he wants to do in the car he has always loved. That’s the definition of enthusiasm, I think. He made his money, now he gets to play with it, I guess.


Despite being a decades-old chassis that isn’t really competitive for the overall win, Ken was running fourth overall on Friday after the first two stages. On the third stage of the weekend, the Cosworth engine exploded, killing itself and Ken’s chance of a repeat victory at the rally. The mechanics simply couldn’t get it running in time for Saturday, so the team withdrew. A boring end to a really cool car’s debut race weekend. Sometimes it be like that.


This weekend was the 100 Acre Wood rally in Missouri, and the inaugural running of Ken’s new Cossie. The Escort here has been thoroughly reworked by a team of engineers to be up to safety spec and technological spec for the classes Ken wants to run. Here in the U.S. he’s running this particular rally because he’s won it a bunch of times before. It used to be sanctioned by Rally America, but has now transferred to American Rally Association rule.

Last week the car received its first shakedown miles on American soil just ahead of the 100 Acre Wood rally. The dirt roads were closed specifically for the practice to take place during the week leading up to the rally. The car was just finished recently, and had to be shipped over from the U.K. to run this weekend. It hadn’t really been shaken down, so it was up to Ken to get the car up to snuff. He took full advantage of ARA’s pre-rally practice days, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Also, because the dude isn’t totally rad enough, he’s got these super wicked Transits serving duty as support vehicles for the rally effort.



It’s always Van Time.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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Is this really playing with his money? He’s great at marketing and has a deal with Ford. The press is great for them. Does he actually have to do this out of pocket? I assumed they are footing the bill but maybe I'm wrong. This seems like his job, it’s just that his job is to play in cool ways people want to see. Shame about the engine.