Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ken Block Wins his sixth rally at the 100 acre woods.
By JBurns

Salem, MO — Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino piloted their 2012 Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. to a sixth Rally in the 100 Acre Wood title on February 24-25th, 2012, in Salem, MO. The team won 15 of the 17 stages in a hard-fought battle on the extremely fast Ozark Mountain roads and squeaked out a 29.3 second victory over Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew.
From the very beginning Block set a blistering pace outpacing his rivals to lead after day one. On the first leg of the second day, Block lost time to Higgins with a pair of tire punctures and suspension damage. After service, the team made up their lost time and pushed hard during the last two stages to secure the victory.
“I’m stoked about winning my 6th Rally in the 100 Acre Wood,” said Block. “The battle against David Higgins was intense on every stage. He’s the current Rally America champ and one of the people who helped teach me how to race a rally car when I first got started, so to finally compete against him on this level was great, I really enjoyed it. I’m definitely looking forward to running against him again later this year in Olympus.”
David Higgins’ second-place overall finish keeps the team on top of the 2012 Rally America National Championship standings.
Three-time Polish Rally Champion, WRC and Dakar Rally driver, Krzysztof Holowczyc took the third podium position in his Art Logisitics Racing Team Mitsubishi EVO. The team was slightly off the pace after replacing an engine damaged during testing, but managed to take advantage of some key competitor retirements to make the podium.
Most notably, Rockstar Energy Drinks’s Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, last year’s Rally in the 100 Acre Wood overall winners, broke a transmission on stage 4. The characteristically reliable team was battling with Block and Higgins, and within seconds of the factory-backed teams before their mechanical failure ended their run.
Deeper in the field, Canadian Rally Championship contender, Leonid Urlichich with co-driver Carl Williamson, broke a tie-rod on stage 9 to end their top-10 run. Chinese rally driver, Rick Song with co-driver Martin Brady, broke their engine on stage 8 leaving the race in the ninth overall position.