Lia Block will step up to an all-wheel drive rally car for the first time this weekend, competing in her dad’s Escort Cosworth V2.
Despite the loss of Ken back in January, Lia Block has gone from strength to strength in her own driving career over the course of 2023. Having already wrapped up the ARA’s 2WD class championship, Lia will now compete in an AWD rally car for the first time. But this is not your average M-Sport Fiesta Rally3 – this is one of the most popular modified cars to ever emerge from the Hoonigan Racing Division. Yep, Lia Block will be taking on this weekend’s Lake Superior Performance Memorial Rally in Ken’s Escort Cosworth V2.
Block will be partnered by her regular co-driver, Rhiannon Gelsomino, with whom she piloted a rally-spec Subaru BRZ throughout 2023. In fact, behind the wheel of that BRZ, Block managed to wrap up the American Rally Association Open 2WD championship with two rounds to spare. At that point, she was still only sixteen years old, making her the youngest ARA champion ever!
The step up to the the AWD class will be a big one, however. The Escort Cosworth V2 is an entirely different beast to the more manageable BRZ, and the competition within ARA’s top class is naturally much fiercer. Block has time on her side though, so this event will be less about going toe to toe with the likes of Brandon Semenuk and Subaru, and more about getting used to the way a high-powered AWD car performs.
Ken Block’s Cossie History
Of course, Ken Block had a pretty up-and-down history with Cossies himself. Note the ‘V2’ in this car’s name – that’s only there because his first EsCo went up in flames after rolling during the 2018 New England Forest Rally…
A similar result should be less of a worry for Lia though. The Escort Cosworth V2 fared well in multiple rallies with Ken behind the wheel of it, and it’s actually slightly less powerful than the original car as well. That said, it’s still got a good kick to it, with a Julian Godfrey-tuned Group A engine under the hood.
Having driven Hoonipigasus at this year’s edition of the Pikes Peak hillclimb, Lia does have experience of what her dad’s crazy creations can be like. So, having conquered that time attack special Porsche, the Cossie should feel relatively sane…