by Jon Crowley on 01/07/12 at 9:29 pm
LOS ANGELES (July 1, 2012) – Ken Block overcame a punctured tire to claim a silver medal and Brian Deegan battled from the back of the field to take bronze in an eventful week of RallyCross in the streets surrounding Staples Center during X Games 18.
Block and Deegan helped the Ford Fiesta claim its fourth and fifth medals at X Games in the past two seasons, following a podium sweep in X Games 17.
“It was an honor to race with Sebastien Loeb, and to do it on a rim,” Block said. “We’ve been waiting to get on the grid and I knew my Fiesta could do it.”
The first attempt at the final featured a first lap red flag restart when the Subaru of Sverre Isachsen caught the corner after the jump. During the ensuing restart, Deegan lurched forward on a false start and was pushed to the back of the field.
Once they were realigned, Block and Tanner Foust muscled their way from the second row into the top-three chasing Loeb, the World Rally Championship star who started on the pole in the final.
The fourth lap could have been disaster for the Fiesta field. Best Buy/Serve Fiesta pilot David Binks was in fourth when he slid into the wall, and Deegan narrowly navigated the wreckage.
Later in the lap, Block suffered a punctured tire and fell off the pace of Loeb, but managed to hold off his Ford teammates. Foust challenged Deegan late for the final podium spot, but Deegan held off his Rockstar Energy teammate for his second-consecutive medal after bringing home gold a year ago.
“Ken and I had a great race in the end,” Deegan said. “I love being a rally driver. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed racing against Ken today.”
Loeb and his Citroen DS3 claimed the gold medal, snapping a three-year winning streak for Ford Fiesta pilots at X Games. The RallyCross event served as the third event of the Global RallyCross schedule.
The Global RallyCross series returns to action on July 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend.
Block and his Monster World Rally Team Fiesta earned a place in the finals after qualifying on the pole. The Gymkhana star had to navigate past some early contact with Dave Mira’s Subaru and overcame a spin on lap 2 for a second-place finish in the first heat.
Foust advanced his Rockstar Energy Fiesta into the finals after battling heat two winner Sebastien Loeb door-to-door early before settling into second and securing his spot in the field of 10.
Deegan challenged hard for the victory in round three, driving aggressively despite having a comfortable transfer position, but also settled for a second-place finish in his Metal Mulisha Rockstar Energy Fiesta.
The fourth heat started with a bang as Andy Scott and his SAAB nudged the Dodge Dart of Travis Pastrana from behind as Binks in his Best Buy/Serve Fiesta challenged from the outside into turn one. The bump from Scott put Pastrana into the wall, causing a three-car pile-up and a red flag restart. Scott was given a black flag for his part in the incident.
With only Binks and David Higgins on track for the restart, Binks pulled away early, coasting to victory and a spot in the final.
Block put down the best lap during seeding at 40.04, while Deegan sat third (40.67), Marcus Gronholm fifth (40.81), Foust sixth (40.95) while Binks entered qualifying seeded 10th. Gronholm was forced to retire from the event following his accident during practice on Saturday. The Finnish rally legend remains hospitalized for further testing and observation, but is alert, talking and has full mobility according to the team.
About Ford Racing – North America
Ford Racing – North America, based inDearborn, Mich., is responsible for major racing operations in North America,including NASCAR (Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Camping World Trucks), GrandAmerican sports car racing, NHRA drag racing. In addition, Ford’s action motorsportprograms involve Global RallyCross, Formula Drift, RallyCar and Lucas Oil OffRoad Racing Series. The department also oversees the development and marketingof Ford Racing Engines and Performance Parts, the outreach programs with allFord Clubs and Ford enthusiasts, and the marketing of the Ford Racing brandthrough initiatives such as Team Ford Racing. For more information regardingFord Racing’s activities, please visit www.fordracing.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based inDearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents.With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’sautomotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financialservices through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regardingFord’s products, please visit www.ford.com.