Rallycross racing star Steve Arpin will be taking his career to another level starting Friday.
Loenbro Motorsports and its world-class driver are teaming up with Ken Block and his Hoonigan Racing Division to compete in select events of the new Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX).
Arpin has been a rising star on the Red Bull Global Rallycross circuit, racking up victories and podium honours in his Ford Fiesta ST Supercar since 2013.
The Fort Frances native, who doubles as general manager of Loenbro Motorsports, finished third in the overall GRC championship standings last year.
Arpin is excited for his relationship with Block, Hoonigan, and Ford to deliver more wins on the track.
“The support from our owners, Paul and Jon Leach of Loenbro, our sponsors, and our fans during our GRC run has been unbelievable,” Arpin said in a press release.
“We have accomplished so much as a small, private team,” he noted.
“We've earned a tremendous opportunity to work closely with Ken Block and Hoonigan.”
In a news release, Block said he's “excited about partnering with Steve on my 2018 rallycross plans.”
“Steve and his team have offered to continue with development of the Ford Focus, and I think they're a great partner for myself and my team when it comes to ARX,” he noted.
Arpin credited the Leach brothers, and many valued teammates, for his success.
He also said the commitment of lead engineer Carl Goodman, fabrication specialist Kyle Bussard, shop foreman Wayne Orme, and many other key crew members has been instrumental in Loenbro Motorsports' rise to prominence on the GRC circuit.
Ford has been Arpin's vehicle for his rallycross career—a brand Block also has favoured.
Arpin said the new relationship with Block, Hoonigan, and the Ford machines seems like “a natural progression and a great fit” for their team.
He will be part of three-way technical and marketing partnership with Block and Hoonigan, which will see Arpin become a Hoonigan driver and his race car will feature a livery similar to Block's.
The Loenbro team will focus on technical developments of the Focus RS RX while Block and Hoonigan will contribute marketing assistance to Arpin and the Loenbro Motorsports team, which is headquartered in China Grove, N.C.
With the additional marketing assistance, Loenbro Motorsports sponsors will enjoy even greater visibility and benefits from the partnership and the new ARX series, which has attracted other top Supercar drivers from the Red Bull GRC circuit, Arpin said.
IMG had announced the Americas Rallycross Championship in March.
IMG organizes the World and European Rallycross championships, and is a global leader in sports events and marketing.
“ARX is a very exciting opportunity to use our experience from World RX to grow the sport in the Americas,” Paul Bellamy, IMG senior vice-president and managing director, Motorsports, said in a press release.
The inaugural Americas Rallycross Champion series will be comprised of four events in 2018, starting with Silverstone this Friday.