Ken Block Wins Silver on 3-Wheels at 2012 X Games
Rallycross - Los Angeles, CA
Ken Block returned to America this past week - fresh off of an impressive ninth overall finish at WRC New Zealand the weekend prior - to compete in his seventh Summer X Games in Los Angeles, California. From the get go, the event was working out for Block. A stunning pace during qualifying landed Block at the top of the pack, which included eight-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb. Then despite a tire puncture on the second to last lap of the main final, Block defended his position to snag the silver medal.
“This is incredible for me,” said Block. “This season of GRC has been tough, I’ve had some mechanical issues and bad luck. But, to come out yesterday and qualify first, ahead of the legendary Sébastien [Loeb], then come from starting on the second row in the final to work my way into silver medal position—and to hold onto it after suffering a puncture and losing my right rear tire? The feeling is amazing. I’m super stoked on how this race went for me!”
Sunday morning’s heat seemed like it was going to be the end of Block’s good luck. A stall at the start left Block struggling to catch up, but while he was unable to win the heat, he did climb back up to finish second, advancing him to the final, but now starting from second row back. Despite this less than ideal starting position, Block tucked behind Loeb tearing away from the launch and slipped through the pack at the first turn. By the end of lap 1 Block had jumped from fifth to second. Loeb and Block, only a second apart, continued to build a gap on the rest of the pack. But then a puncture on the fourth lap looked to be the end for Block, yet he pressed on. His chase to pass Loeb quickly turned into a battle with Brian Deegan to defend second. And defend he did. Even as the tire separated from the rim, Block kept it flat out. When the checker dropped, Deegan was still behind, and X-Games silver belonged to Block, bringing Block’s lifetime X Games medal count to four—two bronze and two silver.
“I’m tremendously proud of how Ken performed this weekend,” said Team Manager Derek Dauncey. “He came in off a great race in New Zealand, put in a good test earlier in the week and laid down a blisteringly quick pace during Saturday’s qualifying. To have him qualify ahead of Loeb and for him to manage second place with no rear right tire is a testament to just how good of a driver he’s become.”
Block’s next competition will be round four of the Global RallyCross Championship in New Hampshire on July 14th. Then he travels to Scandanavia, to race WRC Finland.
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