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X Games Preview: Single-Car Teams

Image via Ford Racing Facebook

Though the majority of the entries in this year’s X Games are part of multi-car operations, a good portion of entries will come from independent camps. Of course, the four names involved are some of the biggest in the sport. Ken Block helped create the rally craze in America over the past few years with his series of Gymkhana videos, while Liam Doran took an impressive win in last year’s Super Rally event over Marcus Gronholm, and Pat Moro is one of the most active pure independents in the sport.

Here’s what to expect from these drivers come Sunday’s event:

#43 Ken Block (12th in points, 11; best finish 8th): As one of the drivers whose exploits in a rally car built up the young fanbase that made the GRC possible, Block is the kind of figure that is beloved at X Games. But only twice, in 2006 and 2008, has he ever medaled at the series’ signature event, and even then he only scored bronze both times. Block has been beating the daylights out of his poor Ford Fiestas all season, leaving some to wonder if the gymkhana pioneer has the discipline to keep his car together long enough to make it to the finish in Los Angeles.

#59 Pat Moro (15th in points, 7; best finish 13th): Moro runs an older model Subaru Impreza and was added to ESPN’s entry list as a late invitee. He’s appeared in both events thus far, but failed to advance past the last chance qualifier in either event. Moro is a strong competitor in Rally America, having won the Production class championship in 2010, but in four X Games attempts thus far, has never placed better than 10th. He’s got one advantage, though: the jump is supposed to be bigger for Sunday’s event, and Moro was the only driver to clear the original jump at Texas (according to a Block tweet).

#33 Liam Doran (16th in points, 5; best finish 12th): Electing to compete in a European event rather than the season-opening Charlotte race likely ended Doran’s hopes at an automatic X Games bid before they even started, but last year’s head-to-head winner would love nothing more than to add a second gold medal in this year’s event. He showed plenty of speed at Texas, qualifying third, but had car troubles that kept him from the final.

– Chris Leone

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