Long Beach, California - Now that Ken Block’s iconic Ford Fiesta RX43 rallycross car has finally been retired in favour of a brand-new Ford Focus RS RX, developed in partnership with World Rallycross team-mate Steve Arpin and Loenbro Motorsports, Block has brought the 480kW Fiesta back to the Hoonigan garage in Long Beach to join his collection of current and historic competition cars.
The RX43 has hard a hard life, starring in the Gymkhana Eight and Terrakhana videos, and competing in dozens of World Rallycross meetings around the world - including the finale of the 2017 season at Cape Town’s Killarney circuit where it lost a wing and its front bumper in the quarter-finals and was then excluded for being underweight!
Damage like that is par for the course in rallycross, where the circuit are short, tight and unpredictable, and the racing is very robust, and there isn’t always time for comprehensive repairs before the cars have to be crated up for air-freight to the next round. It’s a case of duct tape, gutter bolts and cables ties to get the car race-ready and through scrutineering in time to qualify, so this car is showing more than its fair share of battle scars and its engine compartment is not as clean and tidy as you’d expect of a world championship contender.
But bear in mind that rallycross is run on mixed tar and dirt circuits, some of which as very rough indeed, and the car is actually in surprisingly good condition - a tribute to the Hoonigan crew’s hard work behind the scenes.
So, when the car arrived in California, the crew challenged Block to a “Yardkhana”, drifting it flat out around a couple of cones and a pole in the tight confines of the Long Beach garage yard, culminating in the ‘Manline’, a slide up a ramp that’s narrower than the wheelbase of the car is long, onto the loading dock - a stunt so difficult that it took Block four tries (and a cracked gearbox casing) to get it right.
The video is raw and unscripted, the production nowhere near as slick as the Gymkhana series, but the action, which starts around 18m30s into the half-hour video, is louder, wilder and and faster than anything you - or the Hoonigan crew, by their own admission - have ever seen before.