If Ken Block is so good, how come he sucked as a rally driver?

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  • If Ken Block is so good, how come he sucked as a rally driver?
  • Just watched a Ken Block video on Chain Reaction’s website. He can obviously drive a bit, but why did that not carry on over when he tried his luck with WRC?
    Surely raw talent is raw talent, or are the other WRC drivers a cut above?

    nealglover
    Member

    Different discipline within the same general arena.

    Not that much of a surprise really.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    WRC drivers have to get it right first time every time.

    Block can try, try and try again until he gets it right.

    Plus while blocks driving looks good it ain’t the fastest way of getting from a to b

    The videos are chopped about so all the good bits make it into the final edit. As for the driving, he is a bit shit. Hooning it sideways everywhere around an airfield in a 700bhp car is nothing compared to driving a 300bhp car down narrow lanes with a variable surface where any mistake gets punished by either losing time or finding out what damage a brick wall/tree/ditch does.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    same way trials riders aren’t DH world champs

    (still beat the crap out of most of us though, I bet)

    jackthedog
    Member

    Best explanation I heard of this:

    Holding the record for keepy-uppys doesn’t make you the best footballer.

    Premier Icon stu170
    Subscriber

    Kimi raikonen. F1 world champ not so great in wrc
    Sebastian bourdais. Multiple indy car champs. Abysmal in f1
    Different disciplines require different skills.

    I’m of the opinion that WRC drivers are probably the most capable fast-car drivers, as said above – the natural ability & instincts are possibly a little above F1/Indy, where they get to do the same circuit a lot of times. Granted, being able to be at the limits in either format is still a great skill to hold though.

    hora
    Member

    Abit why TopGear saying how good X hypercar is whilst its been driven sideways on a HUGE airfield winds me up.

    Misleading. In real life street furniture gives you a few metres notice.

    Same goes for WRC..

    wiggles
    Member

    Who says Loeb or whoever wouldn’t beat block at his own game?
    Just to busy racing to thrash around airfields etc

    Kimi raikonen. F1 world champ not so great in wrc
    Sebastian bourdais. Multiple indy car champs. Abysmal in f1
    Different disciplines require different skills.

    Agree with that except the bourdais example. Bourdais won multiple championships because the standard of driving in Indy cars is abysmal πŸ˜€

    butcher
    Member

    I don’t get all this hatred for Ken Block. It’s like comparing Danny Macaskill to Danny Hart. I mean Macaskill must be shit too, because he’ll have a hundred goes before landing a trick.

    That said. Ken Block obviously has loads of money to throw at it. And unlike Danny Macaskill, he’s probably there because he’s doing something that no one else is really doing. And it’s quite easy to become the best at something only you do. But it is what it is, and his videos are quite entertaining. Can’t really see what there is to hate about it.

    butcher
    Member

    Abit why TopGear saying how good X hypercar is whilst its been driven sideways on a HUGE airfield winds me up.

    Misleading. In real life street furniture gives you a few metres notice.

    To be fair. If you were lucky enough to own the latest hypercar, and you wanted to drive it sideways, it would probably be sensible to do it on a HUGE airfield, and not on a Monday morning while you’re dropping the kids off at school πŸ™‚

    skids
    Member

    Give the guy a break he has only been driving a few years

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Subscriber

    The trick with rallying is not knowing when to go fast, it’s knowing when to go slow!
    The very best, absolutely world class rally drivers have a “sixth sense”, a combination of skill, experience, and being able to process multiple sources of information, simultaneously when under duress!

    Having been lucky enough to sit next to some of the world best rally drivers whilst developing WRC cars for Prodrive, it’s uncanny at how they somehow preempt changes in grip before they occur.

    Block is a good driver, and has good physical car control skills, but he’s completely “visual” in his driving. World class rally drivers use much more than just their eyes to drive absolutely at the limit of grip (what ever speed that requires) on unfamiliar and changing surfaces.
    In rallying, if you wait till you’ve seen a hazard it’s too late and combined with the constant temptation to over drive the car to make up time or deficits in the cars performance itself, it’s oh so easy to carry a small amount of excess speed with predictable consequences!

    happyrider
    Member

    What a great post max torque!

    kcr
    Member

    Rallying – harder than it looks…

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGttumFOzVg[/video]

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    jackthedog – Member

    Holding the record for keepy-uppys doesn’t make you the best footballer.

    Back of the net.

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    The very best, absolutely world class rally drivers have a “sixth sense”, a combination of skill, experience, and being able to process multiple sources of information, simultaneously when under duress!

    Or the sixth sense is otherwise known as their co driver, a decent one is just as important as the driver in most cases.

    Premier Icon Matt24k
    Subscriber

    maxtorque = nail head
    I thought that maxtorque was a familiar user name and then realised I have just read all about his amazing car on Piston Heads
    engineering porn on PH
    I am not a cyber stalker but this guy really is an engineer unlike some of the other “experts” on here.
    Respect to you Sir.

    Matt24k – Member
    maxtorque = nail head
    I thought that maxtorque was a familiar user name and then realised I have just read all about his amazing car on Piston Heads
    engineering porn on PH
    I am not a cyber stalker but this guy really is an engineer unlike some of the other “experts” on here.
    Respect to you Sir.

    I just checked out that thread, pretty impressive stuff. I also remember that when I used to read Cars and Car Conversions cover to cover many times every month as a teenager with aspirations to be a WRC engineer, that the Volvo that Max Torque had before the Seat won their modified car of the year or something.

    Premier Icon Matt24k
    Subscriber

    Cars & Car Conversions was a proper magazine and it was a real shame when it ceased publication.

    hora
    Member

    Seen how Kubica is getting on? πŸ™‚ A missed F1 talent/great darn that Armco πŸ™

    ScottChegg
    Member

    Maxtorque’s dusty volkswagen even has a laptop for forum stalking while between stages!

    The gifs thread has a nice little bit with Gigi Galli hanging it out. Effortlessly. While being a world class driver.

    That’s all round talent.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Am I the only one to find his videos super dull?

    Premier Icon grtdkad
    Subscriber

    Nope. I’ve stopped watching them now.
    Even my teenage son has registered that he is only good in the gymkhana format after seeing him on Rally GB on a few occasions … You can see that he’s driving at about 85% of the pace of the top drivers. It’s quite tangible. …which is kind of disappointing given the budgets available to him etc

    He’s good for tv specials and pulling 10yr old boys to the rallys , he won’t win.

    hora
    Member

    To be fair. If you were lucky enough to own the latest hypercar, and you wanted to drive it sideways, it would probably be sensible to do it on a HUGE airfield, and not on a Monday morning while you’re dropping the kids off at school

    Oh I agree but I wonder since such TG shows if anyones hired or owned such a car and booted it on a public road thinking the car will be alright πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    The difference between someone who is a good car / bike / other vehicle handler and a someone who is a top racer is amazing, its a mindset thing as well as a skill set thing I think. Being able to push speed to the limit but not over the limit, particularly on variable surfaces is a real art, totally different from being able to do tricks or stunts.

    Its been nice to see Kubica do so well in the WRC tier 2 class and get some top 10 placings overall, given that he will never be able to get a F1 drive again, he clearly loves rallying and is a bit better at it that Kimi πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon alibongo001
    Subscriber

    The race of Champions at the end of the year is always interesting to see how the different drivers do from F1 / rallying.

    If memory serves the rally drivers tend to do very well, even compared to the F1 guys on a track.

    I guess it takes a special precision and skill to drive an F1 car, but the rally drivers have a broader range of skill with the car sliding?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    One has a better PR machine and video editing crew…

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    but he’s completely “visual” in his driving

    which sells.

    Fair play to him. He’s having a right laugh in a far safer environment than actual motorsport, and raking in the cash.
    Wouldn’t you?

    bencooper
    Member

    Rallying – harder than it looks…

    That is brilliant πŸ˜€

    i think another good example would be the interview valentino rossi did after being taken around the isle of man tt lap. no one would deny rossi is an amazing rider, but he says there is no way he could do that discipline at anything like race pace. and his full of praise and even astonishment at what the tt guys can do.

    skaifan
    Member

    He makes entertaining videos. If Loeb or Ogier were to do the same the film would be over in half the time.
    Block does bring some much needed publicity to the WRC which does seem to be struggling to reach its audience at the minute, but he wont ever win anything at the top level. Very interested to see how Kubica does in Wales this weekend though.

    scruff
    Member

    Didnt Loeb test for F1?

    hora
    Member

    Talking of driver skill etc and transition. I once knew a girl who I truly believe could have driven competitively. She was only 17 but had a natural ability for car control/on the edge and subtlety.

    Madness that out there there will be people who far more skill than any professional driver (with sponsorship or money behind them).

    GaryLake
    Member

    Agree with that except the bourdais example. Bourdais won multiple championships because the standard of driving in Indy cars is abysmal

    Damnit, beaten to it.

    And, when Mansell went to Indycar, he just rocked up and stuck it on pole and won in his first race, the first ‘rookie’ to do so.

    Pigface
    Member

    Mark Blundell once said there will be hundreds of drivers who are better than me who will never get the chance, that’s life it isnt always fair.

    skaifan
    Member

    Loeb tested for Toro Rosso a few years ago. FIA wouldn’t grant him a super licence due to a lack of circuit experience. Think red bull were seriously considering him for an f1 drive.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I enjoyed the first Ken Block video in the Impreza, but the rest I didn’t enjoy much.

    Didn’t Pastrana(sp?) have a blast at rally/WRC and not do very well? Not that I’m saying he was also ‘crap’, but just another example of real rallying being a different ballgame entirely.

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