Ken Block‘s Red Bull Global Rallycross has been a revelation. Scoring as many main event wins so far this season as he had in his entire rallycross career up to the start of this season, Block sits atop of the points standings with five races remaining in the best possible position to claim his first Global Rallycross championship.
The average highest qualifier for the last two years, Block’s speed has never been in doubt, but finally this season the stars appeared to have aligned for the Gymkhana superstar.
However a penalty took Block out of contention at the last round in Detroit and in DC, he appeared to be off the pace early on in the weekend.
“We struggled a bit this weekend between me and the setup and the team so we worked really hard through the weekend and constantly tried to improve what we were doing and it worked out in the end,” said Block who worked his way to an eventual third placed finish at the end of the weekend.
The podium finish allowed Block to extend his championship lead to 41 points with his nearest championship rival, Sebastian Eriksson, only able to muster a sixth placed finish.
“I’m battling for a championship,” the Ford driver said. “But it’s about momentum, it’s about consistency and this weekend is exactly what I needed after a bad second event there in Detroit. To come away with a third and to gain more points on my top competitors was the goal and we really came away with that.”
Block’s current position is a stark contrast to last year where at this point, he had just one win despite often being the fastest competitor. In a field where the standard of competition is constantly improving, Block believes the higher level of opposition is not so much a problem, but something of a blessing that’s allowed him to put together a number of good races this year.
“The team and I have worked so hard over the past couple of years, but putting it altogether into wins in the final which is difficult for some reason,” he said. “I kept getting taken out at the first corner, that sort of thing. This year, I think the whole level of drivers at this series has actually risen, I think that’s actually helped us get through these first corners and have cleaner events and so it’s actually benefiting in the long run.”
Although he’s in the box seat for a first Red Bull GRC championship title, Block isn’t discounting his rivals. In a series which is perhaps more dependent on luck than any other, the Utah based driver believes that the misfortune faced by his rivals so far could reverse completely in the final five events.
“There’s like four guys that are grouped about 40 points behind me,” Block said when asked who he considered his biggest threat for a first GRC crown. “Some of those guys have had maybe some bad luck, there might be some good luck coming too so for me I’ve just got to monitor all those guys and try and stay with them or stay ahead of them so I can continue to build the points lead.”
Read Dominik Wilde’s full interview with Ken Block here.