Ford, Ken Block, and Hoonigan Racing Leaving FIA World Rallycross Championship
After two years, Ford, Ken Block, and Hoonigan end their FIA World Rallycross race program.
Effective at the end of the 2017 season, Ford Performance, Ken Block, and the Hoonigan Racing Division will be ending their FIA World Rallycross Championship racing program.
Block has been with Ford Performance since 2010 when he jumped over from a Subaru. According to Ford, Block will continue to serve as a global ambassador of the Ford brand.
“Although we have thoroughly enjoyed competing in the exciting FIA World Rallycross Championship, it’s a natural time for us to take a break as the future of the series takes shape," Dave Pericak, Global Director of Ford Performance said in a press release. "To continue in WRX would have required the development of a new race car, and with so much discussion happening around the future of rallycross from a powertrain package standpoint, it made sense for us to pause until it’s better defined. Rest assured, we remain absolutely committed to hot hatches and all things performance and think rallycross has a bright future.”
"Both myself and Ford Performance have learned a lot from this program. While we both would like to continue with the effort, it simply doesn’t add up at this point," said Block, driver and owner of the Hoonigan Racing Division as well as the Hoonigan. "Aspects of the sport are up in the air for the future, so putting a lot more money into developing a new racecar to try to battle for the championship title just doesn't make sense right now. It’s certainly disappointing, but that’s how the economics of motorsports go sometimes,” he said.
Block was not the only driver for his Hoonigan Racing team, Andreas Bakkerud was driver #2. Though sad about the news, Bakkerud had only positive things to say about his time with Ford, the Hoonigan Racing team, as well as his relationship with Block via his recent video his blog BakkerudLIFE filmed at Hoonigan Racing's Headquarters.
Block had this to say about his teammate: "As for Andreas [Bakkerud], he put in a tremendous effort to try and bring home a title with us. He’s one of the most talented drivers I’ve ever worked with and I’m honored to have been able to have him as my teammate. I’m fully confident that he’s going to be snatched up by one of the other teams in the World RX paddock as soon as the news gets out that he’s available for the 2018 season, and I’m looking forward to shipping him a bottle of champagne when he finally brings home a championship for himself.”
Block and the Hoonigan Racing Division left Red Bull Global Rallycross in 2015 to focus on the FIA World Rallycross Championship. There has not been any statement if Block will return to Red Bull Global Rallycross, but he clearly keeps busy enough with his multiple video series, Gymkhana and now the Terrakhana and Climbkhana series as well as doing recent voice work for the recently released Forza Motorsport 7.
Before you get your wallet ready, the Hoonigan Racing Division Focus RS RX racecars are unable to be sold due to agreements with Ford Performance. They will however be used as display and demo cars. One will probably find its home at the Petersen Automotive Museum.