The adrenaline-rushing excitement of extreme sports blending with racing debuts on Aug. 10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with SYLVANIA Silverstar ® zXe Global Rallycross Atlanta. The inaugural event will attract the world's biggest action sports stars. Included in that group is Ken Block. An international icon and winner of 12 Rally America races, Block will be among the drivers in the field when GRC makes its Atlanta debut.
Here are four questions with Ken Block as he talks about GRC racing as the Atlanta Motor Speedway event nears.
What's the biggest key to success as a GRC driver?
"The biggest key is finding the line between aggressive and not too aggressive. I've had some events where I've had some issues with driving and being too aggressive, and I think that comes from my motocross background. I raced motocross as a kid. With motocross, you are able to use much more of the track to get around people. Here, the cars are much bigger and tracks are narrower than they were when I was racing motocross."
A lot of fans will be seeing GRC for the first time in Atlanta. What can they expect?
"The great thing about GRC is you've got a really amazing racecar like my Ford Fiesta that is 600 horsepower and is all-wheel drive. They are so fast, so maneuverable. It's makes for exciting racing. On top of that, the race program involves heat races, a last-chance qualifier and a final with all the top drivers who have made it through the heats and the last chance qualifier. It's not just one race you get to see, it's smaller races building up to the program."
Atlanta will be a new track. How do you prepare for that as a driver?
"Every time we come to these events, it seems like it's a new track. Me as a driver, I get out and walk the race course and try to learn as much as I can as quick as I can before I even get in the racecar. Once I get in the racecar, it's a matter of applying those things that I have learned by walking and figuring out the quickest line. For us, our first real competition is qualifying because that sets us up for where we sit in seeding for the rest of the event. From that first walk of the course and through practice, you're trying to find that quickest line, not worrying about having to block someone behind you, but that quickest line around the track."
What's it like behind the wheel of a GRC car?
"It's really unlike any car you can drive. It's one of the most unique racecars in the entire world, and that's why I really love it. It's very small, very maneuverable and goes from 0 to 60 in two seconds. It has such a small wheelbase that it can turn on a dime. Every time I do a launch and go through the gears, it just puts a big smile on my face every time."