Ken Block behind the wheel of “the beast”, the ŠKODA FABIA R5+

Ken Block behind the wheel of “the beast”, the ŠKODA FABIA R5+

The ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 has made a splash in motorsport in the US. Its driver in the 100 Acre Wood rally was one of the most popular figures of US sport, Ken Block.

9. 4. 2021 Lifestyle Motorsport

It didn’t take long for the driver to get the feel of his new car. Although a few faults slowed him down, he finished the high-speed gravel course in second place.

Ken Block is famous from skateboard and snowboard competitions, motocross bike races and rally cross. His popularity got a huge boost from his adrenaline drives in the Gymkhana drift series. He is also a regular participant in rally races in the US and Europe. The last time his fans saw him in Europe was in 2019.

For this year’s rally near the American town of Salem he opted for a ŠKODA FABIA R5+, which is a FABIA Rally2 with additional modifications for the Open 4WD category. The most obvious difference compared to the European Rally2 class is the dominant rear wing. The US rules also allow the use of a larger-diameter intake restrictor, which pushes the car’s power output over 300 hp.

Ken Block was really looking forward to racing in the FABIA R5+. “This car is a beast. I’m stunned,” the 53-year-old wrote on his Facebook profile before the start. And he didn’t forget to mention that the FABIA Rally2 is globally the most successful and best-selling car in its class.

In the race itself, Ken Block won three of the fourteen time trials. Setbacks caused by two faults meant that he ended up in second, less than 30 seconds behind the winner, Travis Pastrana.

Ken Block

Block was full of praise for the car after the race. “Before the race I did about a hundred miles in the FABIA. That’s not much when you’re trying to win a rally in a new car. That said, we got up to speed, won a few time trials, and it was only two faults that stood between us and victory. I had fun. This little car is quicker than we expected. The FABIA has a lot of potential. It made an impression on me and I’m looking forward to what comes next,” Block said.  

Support direct from the factory

141 private teams from all over the world have already acquired ŠKODA Rally2 cars to compete in. The Czech racing cars have notched up almost three thousand podium finishes out of over eight thousand starts, with one thousand two hundred first places. So it’s no wonder that this is the most successful racing car in the Czech carmaker’s history and the most successful car in its class in the world. On top of a reliable, rugged and quick car, ŠKODA Motorsport gives the cars’ owners first-class support and service.

The customer programme means that they can get hold of original spares wherever and whenever. Opening a new, modern headquarters with extensive production capacities in 2018 has helped ŠKODA Motorsport service private teams all over the world: in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. Other services they provide include engine, gearbox or shock absorber refurbishment and modifications, advice on setting up cars for various competitions, technical training and remote support. In addition, ŠKODA Motorsport dispatches its experienced engineers and mechanics to rally events, where they take care of customers’ cars and share their priceless experience with the owners.

Photo source: JA/Everett Collection