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Block rolls out of rally Portugal

2011-03-25 10:56

TOP OF THE WORLD?: Adored for his gymkhana high jinks and being the only American WRC drivers, Block has struggled to translate his car control onto less secure surfaces.

Ken Block is possibly the most famous rally driver in the world, eclipsing even seven-times (and current) World champion Sebastien Loeb.

The reason for Block’s fame is a series of carefully orchestrated gymkhana videos, which have become a viral sensation.

In reality, though, the founder of DC Shoes and all-round rally raconteur has found that stringing together fast stage times and winning rallies at World championship level is quite a lot more challenging than doing doughnuts on a deserted airfield.

Block has struggled to find form since starting to compete on the WRC circuit and the pressure appears to be mounting. During practice for the third event of the year in Portugal, Block clipped the inside of a fast turn and rolled his Ford Fiesta WRC car.

The damage was of such severity that Block and navigator Alex Gelsomino (both rushed to hospital as a precaution) could not make the start of the Portuguese rally, which saw  Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen win the first special stage, a tarmac loop through the streets of Lisbon.

With drivers limited to eight chassis per season and 10 rallies to go, Block will start preparing for the rally of Jordan with great circumspection.

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