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X Games news- Brack takes X Games gold - 2009
Former Indy 500 champion Kenny Brack has taken gold in the X Games rallycross event in the mental Pikes Peak Ford Fiesta, edging out American superstars Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana. Oh, and some guy called Ken Block.
Despite the turbo-nutter Fiesta - in which Marcus Gronholm tackled Pikes Peak a fortnight ago - being loaded to the brim with ballast to give rivals a chance, Brack saw off backflipping motocross loon Pastrana and his Impreza in the head-to-head final at the Home Depot Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Yes, that’s the very stadium where David Beckham gets routinely booed while playing for LA Galaxy, though we can’t imagine several thousand tons of dirt are going to do much for Beck’s pinpoint dead ball skills.
Swedish racer Brack is best known for winning the Indy 500 back in 1999 - and for surviving a horrendous crash at the same event in 2003 in which his body endured forces of 214 g’s.
Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust took bronze, while crowd favourite Block - who took bronze in last year’s event - was knocked out in the quarter-finals, despite crossing the finish line before Brian Deegan in yet another Fiesta.
On the approach to the 70-foot jump in the centre of the stadium, Block thunked a barrier in his Impreza, damaging the rear differential and losing speed. Travelling too slowly to clear the ramp, Block took an impromptu detour, scattering marshalls and scrutineering equipment as he went, a moment of truly insane genius to rival Colin McRae’s near-victorious barrel roll at the X Games in 2006.
Though Block overcame the setback to thrash Deegan, the X Games officials took a dim view of his detour, disqualifying the man who landed a 171-foot jump a few years ago.
Top Gear spent the X Games weekend hanging out backstage with Ken from the Block, finding out what driving tips he picked up from his time with James May, being roundly thrashed at Dirt 2 on the X-Box and getting the full story behind jumping an Impreza in the snow. Yes, he’s every bit as cool as you’d imagine.
We’ll be bringing you a full gallery from behind the scenes at LA over the next few days, but until then, congratulations to Kenny Brack, the man who tamed the world’s wildest Fiesta.
After Pikes Peak and the X Games, surely there’s only one place to go next, Ford? Time for a lap of the Top Gear test track, we think…