NEWRY, Maine — The racing is hot at the New England Forest Rally. Sometimes it’s too hot.
Officials say Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino escaped unharmed after their rally car rolled twice and crashed into flames. Block’s helmet camera, posted on social media, shows the car hitting a large rock on a corner, rolling several times and bursting into flames.
Rally racing involves a driver and navigator speeding along twisty dirt roads at speeds topping 80 mph. Karl Stone, marketing manager for the rally, said crashes are not uncommon.
The 1991 Ford Escort Cosworth was gutted by the flames on Friday, the first day of the event. Block, the driver, called it “torturous” to have to watch his vintage racer burn. He said he’s committed to getting another one.
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Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.