MUNICH, GERMANY, June 29, 2013 – A second place finish by Ken Block in the first of two Global Rallycross (GRC) events at X Games Munich helped Ford Fiesta ST get off to a strong start this weekend. For Block, it was his third silver medal and his first podium in GRC this season. The Ford Fiesta ST RX43 driver finished just under one second behind race winner Liam Doran.
“I am stoked to get silver here in Munich,” said Block. “It was appropriate that it rained today since it was the makeup race for Spain, but it the surface made a huge difference and it’s great to finish second.” Block won his first heat by 8.7 seconds after making a pass to lead on the third lap and advanced the Fiesta ST RX43 driver into the final. On the start of the 10-lap final, Block was punted into the wall but the race was quickly red flagged, due to multiple crashes, and provided him a second chance. On the second restart, Block launched into a top three spot then piloted the Fiesta ST RX43 past Toomas Heikkinen for silver. “The course has much more tarmac with a portion being gravel but I’d prefer even more tarmac. I’ve been learning and adapting to the different conditions especially with the rain, it made the track really slippery,” said Block. “I started on the outside of the front line and hoped I’d get a clean line in on the restart of the final. All the guys on the inside bumped into each other on the first corner which caused a mess that I was able to get a clean line around. By the end of the race the gravel had deep grooves that you were forced into but I was able to make the pass for a solid finish and I’m stoked to have another X Games medal.”
Heikkinen won his heat by over seven seconds which automatically advanced the Bluebeam OMSE Fiesta ST into the final. Heikkinen earned a second X Games Global Rallycross podium appearance (also a silver at X Games Foz do Iguacu), finishing third on three wheels for bronze. “I am really happy to be on an X Games podium for my second time,” said Heikkinen. “It makes me proud of my team and my new Fiesta ST which is awesome to drive. I’ve learned a lot since last season and I am happy to see results this year.”
The Bluebeam OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta driver was fastest off the restart of the final but Doran took the lead within the first lap. Heikkinen chased Doran in the rain, applying pressure throughout the race while trying to hold off Block. The Fiesta ST teammates battled for second and third until Block made the pass and took the lead over Heikkinen, who finished just over five seconds behind Doran. “It was a tough race for us. My windshield did not keep all the rain out and it just seemed to keep raining hard,” said Heikkinen. “We are proud to be one of two Ford cars on the podium and I took the lead in the championship, but it was a tough finish for me. I was really pushing to take the lead but I got a puncture in one of my tires and that caused me to finish third.”
Two-time Global Rallycross Champion Tanner Foust won his heat by five seconds in the Rockster Energy OMSE Ford Fiesta ST, but fell short of an X Games medal after finishing sixth in the final following two hard hits. “It was right off the start, one of the cars just never stopped or braked for the turn and just hit me dead on,” said Foust. “The harder hit was during the third lap and with that puncture all I could do was fight to finish. I am glad there is another race tomorrow so I can get back out there with a fresh start.”
The Munich layout is 807.3 meters long and features nearly 60:40 ratio of gravel to tarmac. The eight-turn course is constructed behind the Fröttmaning bus station near the Allianz Arena, earning it the nickname “FröttmaRing.” The combination of hairpin turns and long straightaways promises tough racing, high speeds and lots of passing. Ford had six cars in the Global Rallycross final at X Games Munich and won three out of the four heats with Block, Heikkinen and Foust. The Global Rallycross race today served as a make-up for the cancelled race at X Games in Barcelona, Spain last month.
Ford Racing PR