Ken Block, Matthew Wilson to return to WRC in Spain this weekend

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Red Bull Global Rallycross star Ken Block will take his talents – and his Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta – back to the FIA World Rally Championship for this weekend’s Rally Spain.

It marks Block’s first WRC event since Rally Mexico, 2013, and his first tarmac event since 2011. Block, who between Red Bull GRC and World RallyX hasn’t done much stage rallying this year (Rally America’s Rally of the 100 Acre Wood where he took first overall), he’s not concerned about the layoff.

“I’m obviously here this weekend more as a tourist,” Block said in a release. “What I mean by that is that I’m out here to have a great time and do as well as I possibly can. I’m very much aware that I haven’t had a lot of stage rally time this season and I haven’t been in a WRC car since Mexico last year. So, I don’t expect to be on the pace as everyone in the top of the field.

“However, I’m hopeful that I’ll find a quick pace early on, maintain it and if I’m feeling well, maybe push a bit harder. We’ll see, it’s too soon to tell. My personal expectations are relatively low though, my main goal is to bring the car back safe and sound every evening and my other would be to potentially break into the top 10 if the rally is favorable. We’ll see, either way, I’m stoked to be back behind the wheel in WRC for an event.”

He’ll co-drive with Alex Gelsomino in the No. 15 Ford Fiesta RS.

Block isn’t the only one making a return. Englishman Matthew Wilson, son of M-Sport team owner and rally legend Malcolm, returns to a WRC event for the first time since Rally Sweden, 2013 (fill-in for Nasser Al-Attiyah for Qatar M-Sport Ford WRT).

The younger Wilson competed regularly from 2006 through 2011 in a Ford Focus and later a Ford Fiesta ST. This weekend, he’ll be in a M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta RRC in the WRC 2 category, partnered by long-time co-driver Scott Martin. The car will be entered by Polish squad C-Rally.

“It’s the 10th anniversary of the first WRC rally that Scott and I competed in and we thought it would be great to have a bit of fun at the end of the year,” he said, via the official WRC website.

Spain marks the second-to-last rally of the 2014 season. Sebastien Ogier currently holds a 27-point lead over Jari-Matti Latvala (217-190), with the Rally Wales from November 13-16 the season finale. Ogier has six wins to Latvala’s four from the first 11 rallies this season.

Conor Daly honors friend killed Saturday amid Indianapolis unrest

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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.

Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.

Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.

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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.

Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.

Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).