Block to race WRC Hyundai in 2022 ARA
Hoonigan Racing Division has announced Ken Block will be driving a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in the 2022 American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National championship.
The car - a 2019-spec chassis which used to belong to 2C Competition - will make its debut this weekend at the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Salem, MO; an event Block has won seven times.
Hoonigan Racing Division rejoined the ARA full-time last year at the same rally, with Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino taking to the stages in a McKenna Motorsport-run Škoda Fabia R5+ before using a Subaru WRX STI from Vermont SportsCar.
Block will become the second driver to pilot a 2017-2021 generation of WRC car in the ARA, after Barry McKenna first entered his M-Sport-built Ford Fiesta WRC in the series last year.
"This might be my favorite season of rally in the US ever. Great competition and I’m driving a modern-era WRC car all year! This is epic!" said Block.
Hyundai had been looking into the possibility of running an i20 Coupe WRC in the US since the end of last year, and has been in talks with the series to fit into the ARA ruleset over the past few months.
Though Block’s car has been approved for competition, car specification concessions have been made due to an inability to modify the original Hyundai transmission.
The design of the hydraulic-activated shifting from the WRC car is integrated too far into the transmission for it to be converted to the series-mandated mechanically activated shift mechanisms.
To remedy this, ARA competition director Preston Osborn has worked with the Hyundai team to impose engine and turbo restrictions to counteract the advantage the paddle shifters give Block over his competition.
Joining Ken in ARA this year will be his wife Lucy, and daughter Lia.
Fifteen-year-old Lia will be piloting a Ford Fiesta R2T after contesting Oregon Trail Rally last year in an R1 while Lucy will be joined by DirtFish instructor Michelle Miller in Lucy’s first foray into four-wheel-drive rallying, competing in a Fiesta Rally3.
"And we’re kicking it off in my favorite rally of the year, The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. It’s going to be a fun year.”