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ATLANTA, Mich. – The Ford Fiesta earned a top-10 finish in the Rally America opener this weekend, with Ken Block and co-driver, Alex Gelmosino finishing sixth at Sno*Drift Rally in upper Michigan.
The Hoonigan Racing team debuted its all-new livery on the Fiesta H.F.H.V. at Rally America’s first National Championship event of the season. Block and Gelmosino were forced out of the competition after Stage 2 on Friday, with an electrical issue ending their day early. Despite a 20-minute penalty and starting day two in 11th place, Block and Gelmosino piloted their Fiesta H.F.H.V. to a sixth-place finish winning 6 out of 12 stages run that day.
“I came here and wanted to score some points to move on to the next event and unfortunately, after the first two stages we had a very freak failure of our alternator, said Ken Block. "It looks like a rock potentially hit it and damaged part of it and it just quit working, so unfortunately I missed six stages yesterday. Because of super rally rules I was able to start again this morning with a 20-minute penalty and win multiple stages and make up some time.
"Now it’s time to think about the next event, and my favorite event, which is 100 Acre Wood," Block added. "I’ve won it six times and will be looking to win it for the seventh time.”
Dillon Van Way took second place and gained his fifth podium in Rally America’s two-wheel drive class in his Turbo Fiesta. With a new co-driver, Andrew Edwards, and new team livery. Van Way started his fifth national championship season strong, finishing just under four seconds behind first. Van Way and Edwards also earned a spot in the top-10, finishing ninth overall.
“This event went really good. It’s always a bummer when you are in second, but I’m happy to start off the season with a good rally," said Van Way. "The car drove really well, it’s just amazing we made it the whole rally with no drama and improved the traction the entire event.”
Rally America’s 2012 Rookie of the Year Ed McNelly and co-driver Ole Holter took a podium spot in the two-wheel drive class, finishing third. The Team O’Neal Rally School team finished 12th overall in their Fiesta R2.
The 2013 Rally America National Championship series will continue in Salem, MO with, Rally in the 100 Acre Wood on February 22-23.