NASCAR Cup SeriesProjekt E

Brad Keselowski to sport Ken Block Projekt E livery at NASCAR Phoenix test

2 Mins read
Credit: RFK Racing

To say that Ken Block‘s impact on racing was huge would be an understatement. His passing in early January sent shockwaves throughout the motorsport world, and many entities have mourned and paid tribute to the late icon through means like the World Rally Championship and Nitro Rallycross retiring his #43, while his longtime partner Ford will place special decals on their vehicles across all disciplines for the 2023 racing season.

For NASCAR Cup Series testing at Phoenix Raceway on 24/25, RFK Racing will implement a special livery onto the #6 Ford Mustang of Brad Keselowski. The design is based on Block’s Ford Fiesta ERX that he raced in Projekt E in 2020, consisting a black-and-white base and blue, yellow, and red striping running from the A-pillar down the doors. The rear window also features the rally-style identification marker with Block’s name, the American flag, and #43.

“Ken Block had a tremendous amount of respect in industry and outside of industry in motorsports,” said Keselowski, who co-owns RFK. “Outside of industry, he did really cool things. Whether it was his videos or just unique style, he brought people into motorsports that knew nothing about it. He was just so well known and respected because of that. Inside the industry, he was the daredevil. He was the cool guy that did all the things that, quite frankly, nobody else had the guts to do sometimes. He’s really irreplaceable.

“I’m honoured to be able to have this opportunity to make the most of his heritage and legacy by honouring Ken back with this paint scheme on our car for our Phoenix test. Through his foundation or other different initiatives that his family has, we want to support them and honour him in any way we can. In some small way, we think this paint scheme does that.”

Credit: RFK Racing

Block’s legendary rally career was highlighted by his cars’ flashy liveries. At this past weekend’s Nitro Rallycross event, close friend Travis Pastrana adopted a snow-camo scheme on his car as a nod to Block’s Subaru that he raced in 2005.

Projekt E was a class of the FIA World Rallycross Championship that ran in 2020 as the series prepared to switch to fully electric vehicles, which was finally realised in 2022. Racing a Ford Fiesta ERX powered by a STARD electric drivetrain, Block won the inaugural Projekt E race in Höljes, Sweden. While he did not take part in World RX over the next two years, having last competing in the championship in 2017, he was a champion of electric motorsport and test drove Extreme E’s Spark ODYSSEY 21 at the 2020 Dakar Rally ahead of its inaugural season the following year.

Although Keselowski’s special livery is only intended for the Phoenix test, Block’s memory will remain on his and his fellow Ford drivers’ cars throughout the 2023 Cup season as part of a tribute sticker issued by Ford Performance. Over the weekend, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Ott Tänak also had the sticker on their Ford Puma Rally1s at the WRC season opener in Monte Carlo, as did Billy Griffin and Jim Farley (Ford’s CEO) on their Mustangs for IMSA’s VP Racing SportsCar Challenge at Daytona. Block was supported by Ford from 2010 to 2020 before switching to Audi, who also honoured him with a decal on their vehicles during the Dakar Rally.

RFK Racing is also encouraging fans to donate to The 43 Institute, a charity set up by the Block family dedicated to “creating paths of opportunity for the exceptionally driven who may lack the proper support system for growth and success.”

Avatar photo
3750 posts

About author
Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
Articles
Related posts
IndyCarNASCAR Cup SeriesOff Road

Parnelli Jones, 1933–2024

2 Mins read
Parnelli Jones, one of the most versatile racers of all time with victories at the Indianapolis 500, Baja 1000, NASCAR Cup Series, among others, died Tuesday after a battle with Parkinson’s.
NASCAR Cup Series

Former NASCAR team owner J.T. Lundy dies at 82

2 Mins read
John Thomas Lundy, who ran the Ranier-Lundy NASCAR Cup Series team alongside a controversial stint as a horse racing owner at Calumet Farm in the 1980s, died Wednesday at the age of 82.
NASCAR Cup Series

Cale Yarborough, 1939–2023

2 Mins read
Cale Yarborough, one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history with 3 Cup Series titles and experience at both Le Mans and the Indy 500, passed away Sunday at the age of 84.