- David Evans
Block Returns To ARA In A Škoda For 100 Acre Wood
Ken Block announces that he will be returning to race Rally In The 100 Acre Wood in Salem, MO this Friday, March 19th, 2021 - in an attempt to secure an 8th career win at the event.
Block is no stranger to the stages at 100 Acre Wood. He’s won the overall at that event 7 times, in 2 different manufacturer race cars, in his 9 attempts. His only two non-win attempts ended because of mechanical failures.
“I love racing in the Rally In The 100 Acre Wood event” Block said. “The stages fit my driving style and I especially dig the flat out but technical nature of the roads.” With his free agency announcement earlier this year, Block made mention that he was looking forward to driving a multitude of different vehicles. Block has wasted no time in lining up his first test subject for this race, a Skoda Fabia R5+ (spec’d for the ARA’s 04WD Class), run by McKenna Motorsport.
”Since we haven’t yet finalized all of my deals for the year, I jumped at the chance to race this Skoda R5+ for this event. That race car has been very successful in the last several years as one of the quickest R5 platforms in both the WRC2 class and national classes all over the world - so, I hope I can get used to the car quickly and maximize it’s capabilities so that Alex Gelsomino and I can battle for our 8th overall win at this event!” This race marks the first time in over a decade, fans will see the HHIC piloting something other than a Ford in competition. “The Skoda is an interesting car to me because it is very similar to the Fiesta R5 I raced to the overall win in Barbados last November” said Block.
The “R5” specification race cars are a step down from the top level World Rally Cars in terms of power and performance. But, it is the top spec that is used worldwide as a feeder category for rally drivers to graduate to the top level of WRC, from running them in national championships to running in the “WRC2" class in the WRC. While the R5 spec is not currently the top car class of the ARA (it is the top class in most championships around the world), its rise in popularity should make it a contender to be that someday soon. Since 2015, the Skoda Fabia R5 has proven to be one of the best selling and most successful cars in the category, with 2,737 podium finishes and 1,168 victories. For those American’s unfamiliar with Skoda, the car manufacturer is from the Czech Republic, was founded in 1895, and is owned by VW Group. Skoda has been involved with rally racing for many years, but has never had much success at the top level of the WRC. The success of the recent Fabia R5 program has been the biggest bright point the car manufacturer has achieved in its years as a rally competition car.