Per tradition, teams competing in the World Rally Championship have started to unveil their new rides for the 2011 season. While most debuts are accompanied with a stodgy press release and photos, Ken Block’s Monster World Rally Team instead released a video of its 2011 Ford Fiesta this morning, while simultaneously revealing his schedule for the remainder of 2011.
2010 marked Block’s first foray into the WRC circuit, where he contended in several events in a purpose-built Ford Focus WRC car prepared by M Sport. Although a rally hero in America, Block seemed to struggle in the highly competitive WRC series. Now, with a year under his belt, Block is again ready to tackle the championship — albeit in a completely different car. As Ford has switched to the new Fiesta RS for its WRC efforts, so too has Block — although at first glance, it’s hard to tell the new WRC car apart from last year’s Rally America entry.
Block used Rally Sweden — the first event in the 2011 WRC season — as the theme for his latest video. Set in a concrete shelter with snow covered ground, the Fiesta appropriately sits on studded snow tires — but sadly, it never moves an inch. Motion, it seems, is left to three Scandinavian women dressed in swimsuits and ushankas. Go figure.
Monster also used the opportunity to reveal Block’s WRC plans for the new year. For 2011, he will compete in nine of the thirteen scheduled WRC races — two events more than he entered in 2010. He’ll likely stay plenty busy when off the WRC circuit, however — in addition to racing in several Rally America events and the Summer X Games, Block will be involved with organizing his new Gymkhana World Tour, along with preparing to launch a fourth installment of his famous Gymkhana film series.
Will a new year bring good fortune to Block in the WRC, or will he remain at the back of the pack? We’ll know for certain this weekend, when he enters his new Fiesta in the WRC’s Rally Sweden event.