Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block has surprised himself with his pace on the opening loop of Rally Mexico stages, the American holding ninth overall after SS4.
World Rally Car debutant Block, who had only driven his Ford Focus RS WRC 08 for 100 miles prior to the start of this week's Leon-based event, is delighted with his morning's work. He was ninth fastest on the first three stages and 11th quickest around the Coca Cola Street Stage in Leon just before service.
"I'm still struggling to learn the car, but the times have been better than I expected," Block said. "There's no doubt, this is the best car in the world, there's nothing else like it. It's just amazing!
"But, I've still got so much more to learn. I need to know where I can brake and how late I can leave braking. I'm also struggling a little bit to read how much grip there is, particularly in the tight corners. I get on the throttle early and the car just shoots wide on full throttle. I can't believe how much I'm enjoying it, though. It's awesome!"
Block won the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri last weekend and, while he was driving his Rally America Ford Fiesta rather than the WRC Focus, Monster team manager Derek Dauncey felt the seat time had helped.
"It wasn't just being in a car that helped Ken," said Dauncey, "the conditions in Missouri were quite similar to what we had here: hard gravel, which would have helped him as well. We're really pleased with what Ken's done so far."