Industry News 1/20/2016

B$Z: Ken Block Names Andreas Bakkerud as Driver #2 for 2016 World RX Team

Following up on Ken Block’s announcement last week that he’ll be heading to the FIA World Rallycross Championship for the 2016 race season, Hoonigan Racing Division and Block are now pleased to announce that the effort won’t just be a single car entry. Andreas Bakkerud, current top FIA World Rallycross driver, will be joining the team, making it a two-car attack.

A highly talented and experienced rallycross driver hailing from Norway, Bakkerud was Block’s first choice when it came to picking a second championship-capable driver to help anchor his efforts in World RX this year. Bakkerud has also raced behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta ST in the past, which makes him a valuable addition in the pursuit of the Supercar Team Championship title for Ford.

“I’m really excited that I’ve got Andreas [Bakkerud] joining me on my team this year for FIA World Rallycross,” said Block. “I chose Andreas because he’s damn good behind the wheel of a rallycross car and he’s proven that he can win races. He’s also got experience racing the Ford Fiesta ST chassis the last few seasons, which is important. I’m confident that with him on my team, we will be strong contenders for the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship.”

Despite having only been around the top level of World RX for three seasons, Bakkerud has racked up 5 overall wins and 11 podiums in that time. In addition to those results, earlier in his career he has taken 1st overall in the European Rallycross Championship in the Super1600 class in 2011 and 2012. He made the jump to Supercars in 2013, where he landed two 1st place finishes (Sweden and France) and finished 4th overall in the ERC. In 2014, Bakkerud continued to be a force in the FIA World Rallycross Championship Supercar series with wins in Great Britain and Turkey, finishing the season 5th overall. This past season, Bakkerud finished 4th overall in the championship, racking up a 1st place podium during the Italian round.

“YES! I’m really excited about the opportunity to race alongside Ken and his team—that happens to be one of the best motorsports teams in the world!” said Bakkerud. “I love racing rallycross and I’ve been able to have a few good seasons back-to-back. And the car? Ford Performance and M-Sport are building us one of the best cars to ever race rallycross. So, do I sound excited? Hell yeah!”

Bakkerud continues, "I think that working with Ken and his team in 2016 is really going to help me elevate my driving even further, plus I’ve always admired the way they handle exposing and marketing themselves both on and off event. I think this whole thing is an incredible opportunity not only for myself behind the wheel this year, but to learn and develop myself for the future as well. I can’t wait for the season to start! Thanks again Ken and team for this dream opportunity.”

Bakkerud will join Block on the starting grid at Portugal on April 16th and 17th, piloting the #13 Ford from Hoonigan Racing Division.