Ken Block was invited by Extreme E to enter the last 20 kilometres of the Dakar Rally in a Odyssey 21. Block who has competed in FIA World RX and WRC is used to gravel surfaces but this time it will be the first that he goes racing in a proper desert terrain event.
“Dakar is always something I’ve been interested in experiencing so this is a great opportunity for me to come and see what makes the race so special. I appreciate the guys at Extreme E inviting me out.” Ken Block said.
Freeskiing World Champion and World RX driver Guerlain Chicherit has made the appearance on the curtain-raising shakedown in Saudi Arabia with same vehicle and now Block will take over to help with collecting all critical data and development needed for Spark Racing Technology before the Extreme E season starts next year.
Credit: Extreme E
“We encourage the participation of hybrid and electric vehicles in future events, with an objective of introducing a specific class for them.” David Castera, Dakar Rally Director added.
“Extreme E’s presence here, along with world-class drivers Guerlain Chicherit and Ken Block, convinces us that we are heading in the right direction with this project, and inspires us to go even further and faster in our implementation of alternative energy vehicles in future Dakar Rally events.”
“With a huge amount of off-road experience under his belt, Ken is an ideal driver to steer our machinery through the toughest terrain at one of world’s most iconic motorsport events.” Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said.
Credit: Extreme E
“The Dakar Rally’s demonstration stage of Qiddiya will allow us to showcase the ability of electric vehicles at this legendary rally event, and will also make history as the the first competitive outing for our electric beast.”
“This will be a unique opportunity for the Spark team to gather crucial data to learn even more about the E-SUV here in Saudi Arabia, one of our five race locations in Extreme E, Season 1, and I can’t think of a better driver to push it to its limit than ‘Hoonigan’ himself, Ken Block!”