KEN BLOCK CONFIRMS SOL RALLY BARBADOS ENTRY

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2020 livery of Ken Block’s Ford Escort CossieV2, taken during the reveal in front of hundreds of fans in California last Saturday

KEN BLOCK CONFIRMS SOL RALLY BARBADOS ENTRY

Sol RB20 and Flow KotH join Cossie World Tour 2020

Sol Rally Barbados has today (March 5) been confirmed as a stop on the 2020 edition of American motor sport star Ken Block’s Cossie World Tour, which kicks off with Rally Mexico in 10 days’ time. With around six million followers on each of Facebook and Instagram, Block has become one of the most-recognised names in worldwide motor sport, with a huge boost in coverage of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event promised via the 751,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.

Block and co-driver Alessandro ‘Alex’ Gelsomino will also campaign the Hoonigan Racing Division’s reimagined 1990s Ford Escort Cosworth - ‘CossieV2’ - in the Modified 4 class in the previous weekend’s Flow King of the Hill and be on hand at The Rally Show. Among the 20-strong crew travelling with Block will be his dedicated media team, creating an episode of the World Cossie Tour’s YouTube series, which gained nearly 10 million views last year.

Sol RB20, round three of the 2020 FIA NACAM Championship, is slated for Friday to Sunday, May 29 to 31, with The Rally Show and Flow King of the Hill on May 23 and 24. In three decades, it has evolved from small beginnings as the All-Stage Rally of 1990 into the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key National Event on the island’s sports-tourism calendar.

Barbados Rally Club Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “Since Ken’s team approached us late last year, we’ve been working on funding and logistics. I must thank Automotive Art, Blue Sky Luxury, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, MQI and the Tourism Development Corporation for partnering with us in a project which will bring unprecedented exposure for our event and for the island.”

The wide-bodied CossieV2, built by UK company MDV Specialist Engineering in Essex, replaced a largely standard Escort Cosworth rally car, which was destroyed by fire during the 2018 running of the New England Forest Rally in the US, an event which Block had won four years earlier. The car’s stunning 2020 livery was revealed at the Hoonigan Racing Division launch and Burnyard Bash at Irwindale Speedway in California last Saturday, which was viewed by more than 250,000 people on-line or live at the venue.

Last year’s Cossie World Tour included the Goodwood Festival of Speed, along with events in Ireland, New Zealand, San Marino – Block won the 17th edition of Rally Legend – Switzerland and the United States. The 2020 schedule kicks off with Block’s return to the World Rally Championship at Rally Mexico, which is also the first round of the NACAM Championship. His first appearance in the WRC since driving a Ford Fiesta WRC in Spain in 2018 follows two days of testing in Arizona last month, on roads which would replicate next month’s stages well. It also comes in the event he knows best, having made his WRC debut there in 2007, since when he and Gelsomino have rallied on the Guanajuato stages a further four times, finishing the last two in the top 10.

Gelsomino first sat with Block part-way through his first full season in rallying, when he was Rookie of the Year in the 2005 Rally America Championship, since when they have contested more than 120 events together. Twenty-two victories and a further 16 podium finishes are testament to the success of their partnership. Sol RB20 will not be Block’s first visit to compete in Barbados, after his earlier appearances in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series at Bushy Park and his memorable ‘race’ around the 2.01-kilometre International Circuit when he pitched his Ford Fiesta Rallycross Supercar against Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

Sol Rally Barbados and Flow King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB20 marks the 13th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the fifth by communications provider Flow.

For media information only. No regulatory value.

For further media information: e-mail - robin@bradfax.com
web sites: www.rallybarbados.net; www.barbadosrallyclub.com

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