In fact, the You Tube hero has only started 11 World Championship rallies in his career to date. Block first drove in Mexico in 2007, when he finished 28th in a Group N Subaru Impreza. He tackled the rally again last year in a Ford Focus WRC, eventually finishing 18th after running in the top 10 on the opening day.
So what are the three things that the Ford Fiesta-driving American has learned over the years about the second round of the World Rally Championship?
1.Beware of cowboys
“The landscape here looks exactly like some of the Westerns that you see on TV. There are these long roads in the middle of the desert, amazing landscapes, even cactuses! On the recce you really get to feel it: when you drive into a village on those little cobbled roads it’s like a cowboy riding in on his horse. Mexico is unlike any other event in the world and I really enjoy it. There’s a special atmosphere, amazing roads, and the people are really enthusiastic. It’s a bit like being in a film.”
2. Practice makes perfect
“I don’t think many people understand just how difficult it is for a new driver to come into the WRC. The trickiest thing is that you have to write all your pace notes from scratch but you’re coming up against guys who have been there maybe five times and had the chance to refine their notes five times. Now we’re starting a rally where we’ve got a bit of previous experience and I’m amazed at what a difference it makes. Six of my events for this year are rallies that I’m returning to, and that’s going to be a massive help.”
3. Looks can be deceptive
“Mexico is a rally where it’s so easy to get caught out by a stupid little thing, which is what happened to me last year on some loose dirt downhill. The problem is that a lot of the route is reasonably straightforward, with good visibility and not too many turns over crests, but you get the occasional tricky bit that’s really bad. If you don’t identify those dangerous spots early on in your notes, then your rally can be over before you know it. So it’s important not to get sucked in.”
"...when you drive into a village on those little cobbled roads it’s like a cowboy riding in on his horse."