Ken Block announced earlier this year that he would be taking on select rally events with his race-prepped 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth. The New England Forest Rally was his second event, but following a rather crispy end to the race it appears to be the last for this car.
The Escort RS was built to modern specifications, including a 350-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, paired to a seven-speed sequential transmission. Power goes to all four wheels, and the race car was equipped with custom wheels replicating the original equipment RS pieces while fitting modern race rubber.
The car met its end after rolling twice after clipping a boulder on the inside of the fast left-hand turn. Almost right after the car continued on, the front end caught fire before spreading all over. Fortunately both Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino were able to escape before the car became engulfed in flames.
Block posted on Instagram that the gearbox botched a shift going into the corner, which combined with his line choice, placed the car on trajectory for the boulder hiding just off the apex. The team was holding third place in the multi-stage event at the time, which is impressive in a field of modern high-budget race machines.
The video served as a reminder that fire is no joke, and the rush to get out of a burning car is a terrifying endeavor. We’re glad Block and Gelsomino are safe and will hopefully rally again, even if it won’t be in the same great vintage shell.
SPI Reflections Blog
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