After a challenging year, Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino completed their 2011 WRC season with Monster World Rally Team by finishing Rally GB (the final event of 2011) in the top 10 for the second time this season. Block battled not only the other drivers in the Welsh forests, but also against the stages themselves as the weather in northern Wales proved treacherous. A mixture of heavy rain, slick mud and dense fog made driving conditions very difficult.
Despite this, Block was able to work his way up the standings over the four days of racing and eventually finished in 9th overall.
The finish marks Block’s second best finish of the season and the second best of his WRC career – it’s the second time he’s finished 9th. It also gained two Drivers’ Championship points, bringing his total to six for the season.
“I’m absolutely stoked we were able to end the season in a points-scoring position here in Wales,” said Block. “The roads were some of the toughest I’d driven this season – especially on Friday night in the rain and fog. While I might not have been the fastest guy on the stages, I was able to keep the car on the road and make it through all the stages, which paid off. I also gained some great experience that I’ll be able to apply to the 2012 season.”
While Block started in 10th place on Sunday’s final day, he spent the first half strategically keeping Armindo Araujo’s Mini at bay, while protecting his position. As the war of attrition continued, Block moved up the leaderboard to defend 9th place. He was successfully able to do this, eventually opening up a full minute between himself and Araujo.
“Ken developed as a WRC driver this season has thoroughly impressed me,” said Monster World Rally Team Manager, Derek Dauncey. “While his stage speed has continued to improve, his awareness of split times has developed alongside. To be able to defend your position is a difficult thing to do. To be able to defend and open up time on the person chasing you is even harder. So what Ken did today is very impressive.”