A podium in New York, followed by a convincing win in Charlotte has put the Hoonigan back on track as the series arrives at a fast but hot Daytona.
The Florida venue's long, open sections are just the sort of features that Ken Block enjoys, much like Barbados, where he dominated the entire weekend until rolling out of the final.
As the sun set over Daytona International Speedway, I caught up with the driver of the number 43 Ford Fiesta to hear what he had to say about the season so far, Daytona, and what lies ahead.
Ken Block Interview
Dominik Wilde: You've been quick all season so to finally get your first win of the year in Charlotte, was that kind of a weight lifter off your shoulders?
Ken Block: Yeah, I was very well set up this year to have a very good year and then I made a little mistake in the first race of the year and put myself on the roof trying to pass back for the lead, I was just being very aggressive and wanted to win and I had sort of a freak accident and from there it was kind of a bit of a struggle year because we had to send the car back to England and had some engine issues and so it was kind of a bit of a struggle to get back into the full swing of things but I ended up with third in New York and then won Charlotte and so coming back in the points, unfortunatley Nelson (Piquet Jr.)'s pretty far out but it feels good to be coming back in the points and I feel like I'm driving really good, the team's doing an amazing job and an event like Charlotte to be able to go there and dominate everything was really good so I feel like it's a nice swing to come back and to try to be close to the championship at the end of the year.
Dominik Wilde: You're known to be very strong off road, now this track (Daytona) is primarily tarmac, do you think that hinders you in any way or are you confident on both surfances?
Ken Block: Well this track, actually one of the biggest deciding factors on this track is the dirt complex so I've been able to be very aggressive on the dirt and make some passes and it's been some good racing but also the tarmac is different to what we've had as tarmac in other places. It's actually longer straights, more passing spots and it just fits my style a little better than more of the 'go-kart track' we had at DC. I'm not a tarmac specialist, I'm not a go-kart driver (laughs), so give me high speed and give me dirt and I'm much more comfortable.
Dominik Wilde: Do the longer sections, the longer more open sections, do they suit you more?
Ken Block: It defintely give us more opportunity to try and pass, to set up a pass, try and actually out-brake someone or try a different line whereas other, tighter, smaller tracks, you just can't do that stuff. So I've really enjoyed this track, like I really liked Barbados for the same thing - Big, wide open, fun tarmac, a little bit of dirt. But yeah, I'm definitely not a tarmac specialist but when it comes to actually having some higher speeds it's more fun manouvering and to outbreak people, I enjoy that a lot more than the tighter courses.
Dominik Wilde: As well as the track itself, the conditions are very hot, does that affect anything for you?
Ken Block: It's all about being smart to deal with the heat. As soon as I get out the car I get hydrated and cooled off and even my wife's got a little kiddy pool over here for the kids but I go sit in it, it's anything to keep cool and to keep hydrated so that when I get back in the car the next time I'm 100 per cent. It's all about being smart about it.
Dominik Wilde: Looking forward to the rest of the championship, you said about Nelson being quite far ahead, how confident are you that you can bridege that gap with the events that are coming up?
Ken Block: Well I don't know what the LA track looks like yet but the Seattle track looks like it might have a bunch of dirt so that should be good. I like Dirtfish, it's a great place, I really enjoy going there so I'm looking forward to that one but I just hope that LA is a good track, it's nice and fast and got a lot of dirt. Once again they're building it completely from scratch so I hope it doesn't end up really tight.