Hoonigan Racing Division drivers Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud will compete in the World Rallycross Championship this year in a pair of brand new Ford Focus RS Supercars.
Block announced his participation in World RX 2016 earlier this year but gave the first official indication that he would use a Focus in the closing credits of his Gymkhana 8 video, which was released to the public earlier this week.
The American competed in an M-Sport built Ford Fiesta in his two World RX appearances in 2014, where he finished on the podium in Norway.
He has also used the Cumbrian firm’s Fiesta in the American-based Global Rallycross Championship in recent seasons, but will switch to a brand new Focus RS for World RX this year.
While the Fiesta was a heavily adapted version of M-Sport’s World Rally Championship specification car, the Focus is a new build from the ground up, with Ford Performance factory support, specifically for World Rallycross.
“RS is a worldwide brand with a rich heritage that motorsports enthusiasts know and love,” said global director of Ford Performance, Dave Pericak.
“Our RS badge has a natural connection to racing, and we have a passionate, dedicated team on the project. We’re excited to honor the history of Rallye Sport by pushing every aspect of performance and design to the limit.”
"We’re excited to honor the history of Rallye Sport by pushing every aspect of performance and design to the limit,” he added.
Block himself is excited to be working with Ford, and the new Focus. "I'm really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance.
"To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible,” he said.
“Plus, have you seen the car that they've created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing."
Rallycross Supercars are renowned for producing in the region of 600bhp for accelerating from 0 to 60mph in less than two seconds M-Sport team owner Malcolm Wilson believes the Cumbrian squad has produced a winning car for Block and Bakkerud to use this season.
“Working closely with our colleagues at Ford Performance and Hoonigan Racing Division, a huge amount of work has gone into this project,” said Wilson.
“It’s been an extremely exciting, rewarding venture – one we hope yields considerable success. I’m confident we have a winning formula for the season ahead.”
Block’s teammate Bakkerud has experience of working with Ford Performance, he drove a Fiesta for the Swedish Olsbergs MSE team in 2014 and 2015 and won three events, at Lydden Hill and Istanbul Park in 2014, and at Franciacorta last season.