Ford Performance annonserte i dag at de trekker seg ut av FIA World Rallycross Championship etter årets sesong, og avslutter dermed sitt rallycross engasjement sammen med Hoonigan Racing, og Andreas Bakkerud.
– Dette er en utrolig tøff dag for meg, og den hardeste så langt i min karriere.
Jeg er utrolig takknemlig for den muligheten Ken Block, og Hoonigan Racing har gitt meg – og at vårt felles prosjekt som WorldRX team nå avsluttes var en trist beskjed å få, forteller Andreas Bakkerud som nå har en tøff og viktig jobb foran seg:
– Nå må vi bare ta tak, og sammen med mine #BakkerudBLUE partnere, supportere og alle rundt meg skal vi se fremover, og jobbe knallhardt mot det som alltid har vært mitt mål – en VM- tittel i rallycross. Jeg skal også gjøre mitt ytterste for å avslutte dette eventyret på best mulig måte, og sette et verdig punktum med to spennende event i Sør-Afrika i November nemlig årets WorldRX finale runde i Cape Town og Gymkhana Grid i Johannesburg, avslutter Bakkerud.
Se hele Andreas sin reaksjon på YouTube kanalen #BakkerudLIFE her:
Under her ligger den offisiell pressemelding fra Ford Performance sendt ut Onsdag 4. Oktober.
FORD PERFORMANCE AND HOONIGAN RACING DIVISION MAKE DECISION TO END WORLD RX CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM
Ford Performance and Hoonigan Racing Division have made the decision to stop competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship effective at the end of the 2017 season, it was announced today.
Block’s relationship with Ford and Ford Performance will continue as it has since 2010, with Block competing in various motorsport and Gymkhana events around the world. Block will also continue to produce his award-winning Gymkhana videos, as well as additional digital content, as he continues to act as a global ambassador for the Ford brand.
“Although we have thoroughly enjoyed competing in the exciting FIA World Rallycross Championship, it’s a natural time for us to take a break as the future of the series takes shape,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director of Ford Performance. “To continue in WRX would have required the development of a new race car, and with so much discussion happening around the future of rallycross from a powertrain package standpoint, it made sense for us to pause until it’s better defined. Rest assured, we remain absolutely committed to hot hatches and all things performance and think rallycross has a bright future.”
“Both myself and Ford Performance have learned a lot from this program,” said Block. “While we both would like to continue with the effort, it simply doesn’t add up at this point. Aspects of the sport are up in the air for the future, so putting a lot more money into developing a new racecar to try to battle for the championship title just doesn’t make sense right now. It’s certainly disappointing, but that’s how the economics of motorsports go sometimes.”
«As for Andreas [Bakkerud], he put in a tremendous effort to try and bring home a title with us. He’s one of the most talented drivers I’ve ever worked with and I’m honored to have been able to have him as my teammate. I’m fully confident that he’s going to be snatched up by one of the other teams in the World RX paddock as soon as the news gets out that he’s available for the 2018 season — and I’m looking forward to shipping him a bottle of champagne when he finally brings home a championship for himself.”
“Andreas is absolutely a talented driver, and a class act in the paddock,” said
Pericak. “Though we will not be supporting his program next year, we wish the best for him. The team that picks him up will be lucky to have him.”
The news comes after nearly two seasons with Block and Bakkerud driving the Focus RS RX in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. “Both Ford and my entire Hoonigan Racing Division team put in a tremendous effort and I want to them thank them for the hard-fought battles these last two seasons. I truly appreciate it,” said Block.
The Hoonigan Racing Division Focus RS RX racecars will be used for displays and demos, but will not be made available for sale based on pre-existing agreements with Ford Performance.