The American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National Championship hadn’t witnessed a win quite as dominant as Ken Block’s last weekend since the 2018 Tour de Forest, one of two rallies that season to be won by more than 10 minutes.
Hoonigan Racing Division driver Block finished 9m35.4s ahead of second place on the Lake Superior Performance Rally. But while he was anticipated to dominate as Subaru Motorsports USA and Barry McKenna were absent from the entry list, nobody expected stage wins of more than a minute against drivers in similar Subaru WRXs or Rally2 cars.
“The fans are great, great competition, it’s been so good to see so many people actually competing in higher-level cars like the R5s,” Block said to DirtFish of his 2021 ARA return, before going into more detail on his LSPR success, which was his first American rallying win since 2014.
“Events like this one, LSPR, the roads have just been incredible. It’s been fun to get out there and race, it was a great weekend.
“I was kind of pushing to go faster and faster, Alex [Gelsomino, co-driver] wasn’t very stoked by the speed I was pushing this weekend, but it was a great experience for me and really enjoyed these beautiful roads.”
Block won all 15 stages, and on three of the tests that were repeated he went fastest on the second runs despite the ruts from the plethora of different sized vehicles that went onto the stages after him on the first passes. His ferocious pace was against the advice of Alex Gelsomino.
“He was telling me to go slower on those last two,” Block explained. “Herman Nestoria [SS10 and SS13], I just really enjoy that stage.
“That’s where I cut 12 seconds out of the earlier run, so to go at that speed at the end the rally is a bit unusual with that sort of lead, but I just really enjoy these stages and I know I’m not driving over my head.
“I’m just trying to get as much in this year in case I come back next year and I’ve got the notes and video to help me go even faster. I really enjoyed that element of it. Pushing myself and pushing Alex and I to get better and better at every event.”
Block’s 2022 plans are not confirmed yet, although he’s set to stay in the ARA service park in some capacity and has some exciting news coming very soon…