Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

May 16, 2011

Ken Block slides into Cars & Coffee Irvine

Cars & Coffee is a national and international phenomenon that has grown from a single informal gathering of car guys and gals to a huge franchise that seems to be popping up in just about every corner of the globe. These free weekly get-togethers are a great way for car people to meet and admire each other’s cars. As impressive as the list of cars at these shows is, the people behind them are frequently the bigger story. Sometimes, however, the car and the person seem to be so intertwined that seeing one without the other would seem very strange indeed.


Such was the case in Irvine this Saturday, when an oddly out of place bright green Euro Ford Focus RS was parked amidst a sea of other Focus models, many dressed in body kits that made them look like they were getting ready for the next X Games. How appropriate then that standing beside this lime green RS was none other than Monster World Rally driver, Ken Block. Anybody who considers themselves a car fan should know Block if they don’t already. Ken was a rally champion for Subaru for a number of years before making the jump to Monster last year.

In 2010, Monster ran a…wait for it…Ford Focus RS WRC, much like the one Ken brought out to Irvine. Even though the team has switched to the new Fiesta RS this season, Ken still uses this Focus RS as his daily driver. With Monster’s lime green and black colors, the hue of this RS was understandable, as were the green soled DC Shoes that Block was sporting.

Looking none the worse for wear following his horrific rally accident in March, Ken humored the throngs of fans by posing for pictures and signing just about anything thrust in front of him. He even signed a few cars. They were also handing out bumper stickers that read, “Hooning is not a crime!” We talked to Ken a bit and got the scoop on what he’s up to now.

Ken’s last race was his WRC event in Portugal where he rolled his car rather violently. Although his injuries were minor, Ken was happy to take a planned break to spend some time with his wife during the birth of their newborn baby. “The timing was actually perfect,” said Block. “I can rest and spend time with my new baby.”

Besides being the head of DC Shoes and a consultant on the rally gymkhana video game DiRT 3, Block keeps busy with not only WRC events, but also Gymkhana World Tour, Rally America and RallyCross events in addition to some hillclimbs and other special events. Throw a new baby into the mix and we’re guessing he’ll need to clone himself to keep up with those plans. He did say he is looking forward to being at the X Games RallyCross finale in Los Angeles at the end of July, and says his next WRC event won’t be until Germany in August, although he was heading down to South America soon for some WRC research.

When we asked him about his Focus RS, he said “It’s a great car. It’s my daily driver and I love it.” We also asked about Ford talking about dropping the RS model and sticking to an ST as its performance model in the future. “As far as I’m concerned, they need to keep the RS name. That RS stands for Rally Sport and that’s the whole point of this. The Focus is what I raced. Of course they’ve switched to the Fiesta this year, but hopefully they’ll keep an RS in there somewhere.”