PARK CITY, Utah - Today, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce his plans for the 2018 race season. When he removed himself from full-time World RX racing at the end of last season, many wondered what the Head Hoonigan In Charge would get into. The answer? An over-the-top mix of racing that’s comprised of four stage rally events (three domestic in the United States, one international) with two different vehicles, as well as two rounds of the newly formed Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) and one round of the World RX Championship as well. This is in addition to a return of Gymkhana GRID in the U.S., another larger format Gymkhana GRID event with Monster Energy on the other side of the Atlantic and the launch of an 8-part documentary series titled The Gymkhana Files as well as GymkhanaTEN this fall!
To start with, Block will campaign his 90s Ford Escort Cosworth Group A racecar at three U.S. stage rally races. He’ll be sending his vintage machinery through the woods at the Oregon Trail Rally (April 20-22), New England Forest Rally (July 20-21) and the Idaho Rally International (September 15-16).
Continuing the stage rally theme, Block will also campaign in a 2017 Ford Fiesta RS WRC prepared by M-Sport, for WRC Spain (October 25-28). “It takes a huge amount of effort and training to race in the WRC,” said Block. “but I’ll be cramming that into a short period of testing beforehand. It’s not really enough time in the car to properly prepare for a WRC attack, but I’ll take what I can get!" WRC Spain will be Ken’s first WRC race since he race WRC Spain back in 2014.
Returning to rallycross via select ARX rounds (COTA, July TBD and Canada August 4-5) as well as one World RX round at Circuit of the Americas (September 29-30), Block will be forming a three-way technical and marketing partnership between himself, Canadian rallycross star Steve Arpin and Hoonigan. The partnership will see Arpin become a Hoonigan driver and his racecar will feature a similar livery to Block’s. Arpin's Loenbro team will continue to develop the Focus RS RX in addition to running the two cars, while Block and Hoonigan will be contributing their marketing prowess to Arpin’s RX program.
“I’m excited about partnering with Steve [Arpin] on my 2018 rallycross plans,” said Block. “Steve and his team have offered to continue with development of the Focus and I think they’re a great partner for myself and my team when it comes to ARX. I’m also looking forward to racing in rallycross once again in front of crowds in North America!”
In addition to getting back into rally and continuing with rallycross, Block will also be competing in more Gymkhana GRID events in 2018. “Plans aren’t final yet, but we intend on doing a GRID event or two back in America this year,” said Block “Hoonigan Racing Division will be fielding as many as three racecars for the events. And, we’re still partnering with Monster Energy once more to do another big Gymkhana GRID event in Europe or South Africa.”
“I’m legitimately excited about my calendar for this season,” Block continues. “I’ve really enjoyed the past few years of rallycross, but I started my race career with rally and my heart has always been with it, so to be able to get back into doing events like these while still doing some rallycross makes me very happy! I love my old Cossie and I’m looking forward to going and pushing that a bit here in America during some events, but then I’m going to the opposite end of the spectrum with the current 2017 WRC Fiesta, which I think is going to be a lot of fun for WRC Spain. Plus, I am excited to see the further developments that Steve Arpin and Loenbro will make on the Focus RS RX.”
Also back for 2018 is Block’s ongoing partnership with artist Death Spray Custom. DSC was tapped once again for livery design duties for Block’s cars as well as his driving suit. The overall graphics package is an evolution of last season's 3D lightning bolt theme, but given a slight retro feel given the application to Block's classic Cossie. Block's 2018 suit, however, is a new, more intricate and detailed take on a concept by Death Spray done previously. A vascular system design that features hidden Hoonigan sayings like "Tire Slayer," "Kill All Tires" and "Ain't Care."
“David [Death Spray Custom] really has a great sense of what works and what doesn't work for myself and my programs,” said Block. “He’s been great to collaborate with on these designs and I think that my fans enjoy the work too. It’s also stuff that translates well to Hoonigan apparel, which is always a nice bonus for me!”
Finally, Block will be staying very busy in 2018 amongst his calendar of events with his continued video production efforts. Both The Gymkhana Files (8-part documentary series launching on Amazon Prime) as well as the next installment of Block’s 500+ million view viral Gymkhana franchise, GymkhanaTEN (created, shot and produced by Hoonigan Media Machine) drop during Q4 of 2018. Block also has a handful of original content projects for Hoonigan’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/TheHoonigans) in production for 2018 as well.