April 19th, 2010, Istanbul, Turkey – On only their second WRC event ever, Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino continued to prove their ability to keep pace with the veteran drivers, securing sixth fastest on stage three times during the Rally of Turkey. “Three months ago, when we first announced our WRC plan, I never would have thought that we would be dicing it up with the middle of the pack,” says Ken Block. “So for me a sixth fastest finish on stage is a personal victory and may as well be a win for me. And the fact that we have three of them only proves it wasn’t a fluke, and I am really proud of that. Being able to actually compete amongst some of the greatest drivers in the world is just unreal.”

Rally Turkey didn’t come without its punishments though for Block and Gelsomino. With only a mile left to go on the first stage of the rally, the two pegged a stump hidden in the bank of a turn, crippling the Monster Energy Ford Focus RS WRC. Ironically, the exact same protruding stump also ended fellow Ford driver Henning Solberg’s day. Both drivers came back to race on Saturday, and for the first time, Block was swapping times with Henning, and in the end actually beat him by 15 seconds. Due to lost stage times and heavy penalties incurred by SuperRally rules, the Monster World Rally Team finished 24th overall.

“This was a particularly tough rally,” says Block. “From the huge, unforgiving rocks, to the varying conditions due to weather, Rally Turkey really challenged Alex and me since we are still learning the limits of the Monster Energy Focus.” And on the last stage of day two, Block found one of those limits the hard way, having a simple spin that left the car beached on the side of the stage road. But again the two returned the next day on fire, for what is the team’s best showing to date, with a seventh and two sixth fastest on stage times.”The team plan has been to treat 2010 as a development year, with hopes of grooming Ken into a competitive WRC driver for 2011,” says Monster World Rally Team manager Derek Dauncey. “Ken, as proven here in Turkey, is already exceeding expectations, but we realize we still have a way to go to achieve our long term goals.” The next WRC round for MWRT will be Rally Portugal, May 28-30.

Until then, follow the team at monsterworldrallyteam.com
Also see Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 coverage on the MWRT Blog.
http://www.monsterworldrallyteam.com/blogs/rally-turkey-day-1-update-%E2%80%94-ken-block-and-henning-solberg-get-stumped
http://www.monsterworldrallyteam.com/blogs/rally-turkey-day-2-%E2%80%94-block-and-gelsomino-step-it-and-join-fight
http://www.monsterworldrallyteam.com/blogs/rally-turkey-day-3-%E2%80%94-block-gelsomino-and-number-beast6-6-6

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