Ken Block’s rally racing career has always been in the limelight, but this year, his throwback Escort RS Cosworth has perhaps made even bigger waves than him. The revival of the ‘90s Ford rally racing car is a nod to the brand’s and the race’s glory in the said era, a supposed nostalgic comeback of a car that won the World Rally Championships 10 times before it was replaced by the Focus.
With that, it’s no wonder we car enthusiasts were pretty ecstatic about the name's return to the beloved motorsport. Unfortunately, it was met with a sad end this Friday while Block was racing at the New England Forest Rally, alongside long-time co-driver Alex Gelsomino.
At the Stage 4 of the NEFR, Block and Gelsomino hit a huge rock that sent them rolling twice before ending up in flames at the side of the road. The whole scene was captured on the video above, including the in-cabin footage moments before the accident. Block also posted the incident on Instagram, which included the whole story behind the mishap.
“We were running in 3rd overall in the New England Forest Rally (with a gear box problem), pressing on to finish Stage 4 when I turned into a tighter left corner and downshifted. The box didn’t shift when I wanted it to (because mechanical issue), and when it finally did, it threw me into the inside of a corner and into a big rock. That rock sent us rolling over twice. We landed on our wheels, and I was ready to get going again because we were shiny side up,” Block said, recalling what transpired before crashing.
“Buuuut as you can see, a fire started REALLY quick. Alex and I got out safely, but the car thoroughly burned right there on the stage,” he added.
Looks like a well-seasoned rally racer is still no match to a broken gearbox. Anyway, what a sad day for both fans of Block and the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. But we’re sure glad Block and Gelsomino walked away just fine from the incident.