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DEARBORN -- Ken Block, driver of the Monster World Rally Team Fiesta in Rally America and the Focus RS in WRC, has had a hectic schedule. Coming off an appearance at Goodwood where he was named ‘Most Thrilling Driver,’ Block is in the midst of finalizing plans for the highly anticipated Gymkhana THREE all while preparing for X Games 16 which takes place at the end of July.
Q. IT HAS BEEN A MONTH SINCE THE SUSQUEHANNOCK TRAIL PERFORMANCE RALLY IN PENNSYLVANIA. YOU HAVEN’T MISSED A BEAT GOING ALL OUT ON THE VARIOUS RALLY PROGRAMS YOU HAVE WITH FORD.
A. It really has been a couple of interesting weeks since STPR. I actually was in Detroit for several days testing the Gymkhana THREE Fiesta, which went very well. From there I headed to England for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Goodwood is one of the most amazing motorsports events in the entire world. You have everything there from Group B Rally Cars to modern Day WRC machinery, old Formula 1 cars to brand new Formula 1 cars and old motorsports stars all the way up to people like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. It was an amazing event. From there I flew home for a few days to celebrate my sixth wedding anniversary before heading back to Detroit to shoot a commercial for Ford which will air around X Games. It has been pretty busy, but now things will pick up even more as we are getting ready for the New England Forest Rally this week.
Q. YOU HAVE SPENT THE BETTER PART OF SEVEN MONTHS WORKING ON TRANSFORMING THE OLSBERGS MSE FIESTA FROM A RALLYCROSS CAR TO A STAGE RALLY CAR. WITH X GAMES TWO WEEKS AWAY YOU ARE ABOUT TO REVERT THIS CAR BACK TO ITS RALLY CROSS ROOTS.
A. At the beginning of the year I think we were all a little overly optimistic about how easy it would be to convert the car from the dominating Rallycross Fiesta to a stage rally car. We have had some teething issues, but we have also had some success. We expected it wouldn’t be a seamless process, but the Fiesta is doing very very well heading into the final event of the Rally America season. I am really looking forward to Maine. I did very well there last year and I think this year I can do exceptionally well. After Maine the Monster World Rally Team Fiesta will be converted back to its Rallycross set-up for X Games and for the first Rally America Rallycross in New Jersey in late August. There are some really good events coming up and I think the Fiesta is going to do exceptionally well at these events.
Q. YOU MENTIONED THE FIESTA COMMERCIAL THAT YOU SHOT FOR FORD WHICH WILL BE USED AROUND X GAMES. HOW WAS THAT?
A. The shoot was in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Ford had a funny idea of what would it be like if I did my everyday chores out on the road, like dropping off mail or whatever, with the rally car. It was a pretty funny spot and we shot for like 12 hours on Monday. It was actually a pretty tough little shoot. It was hot and muggy and the things they wanted me to do with the rally car were pretty difficult because it is a rally car and it isn’t set up to slide around on tarmac, it is supposed to grip on tarmac. I did my best with it and I think the commercial will come out very good and hopefully the fans will like it.
Q. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT GYMKHANA THREE AT A SUPER SECRET LOCATION IN THE NEXT TEN DAYS. THERE IS A LOT OF ANTICIPATION FOR GYMKHANA THREE.
A. Probably the hardest part for me about Gymkhana is because there has been so much hype and increased expectations with Gymkhana THREE, based on the success of Gymkhana and Gymkhana TWO, I feel pressure that I can’t do a bad video. The Fiesta is such a great little car there is no way that we will disappoint, but I want to keep upping the level. It has been a real challenge to find the right location. We have gone through a number of ideas because we couldn’t get permits or the things I wanted to do were not possible. We finally have our location and it isn’t in the States. It is somewhere in Europe so I will leave that at that. I am really stoked at the location and I think it is going to be the best Gymkhana yet. We are getting started in about 10 days so Gymkhana THREE will be shot just before X Games.