Ken Block has signed up for next month’s Rally Barbados (October 31-November 1), competing in a brand-new Ford Fiesta Rally2.
Block had intended to head to Barbados in his Ford Escort ‘Cossie V2’ on its original late-May date as part of his Cossie World Tour this year, but will instead drive a Fiesta Rally2 from M-Sport – giving the chassis its first competitive outing.
Despite Block’s rallying experience across the WRC and US national series, he has never driven a Rally2 specification car in competition before. He did sample the car last summer, on a test prior to the Donegal International Rally in Ireland.
He will compete in the FIA R5 class in Barbados with Alex Gelsomino co-driving as usual.
Barbados Rally club chairman Mark Hamilton is delighted to have Block commit to the event.
“We were excited when Ken’s team approached us last year with a project that could bring huge exposure for our event and the island,” he said.
“While we thought the coronavirus pandemic might ruin the deal, here we are. [We] are delighted that Ken and his organisation are still keen to come, as it will give us massively valuable coverage.”
Block is a Barbados rookie but the Caribbean event is accustomed to welcoming global stars from the world of rallying.
While it’s local driver Roger Skeete that dominates the roll of honor with 13 rally victory, former Toyota factory driver Kris Meeke has won Rally Barbados twice while current World Rally Championship points leader Elfyn Evans has also competed in the past; finishing third in 2016 with a Ford Fiesta R5.
Rally Barbados has always been popular with British crews, with Kenny McKinstry and Paul Bird both also taking two wins apiece on the island.