Rally star Ken Block dies at 55

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Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

American rally legend Ken Block died Monday in a snowmobile accident in Utah, his Hoonigan Racing Division announced. He was 55.

“It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today,” reads a statement from Hoonigan. “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer, and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed. Please respect the family’s privacy at this time while they grieve.”

Block is one of the most iconic names in action sports, competing in a variety of off-road disciplines like rallying, rallycross, and desert racing. He was a regular in Rally America and the American Rally Association, while also making select starts in the top-level World Rally Championship between 2007 and 2020. A three-time X Games medalist in rallycross, he also raced in the Global Rallycross and FIA World Rallycross Championships, scoring six wins in the former.

He has also challenged legendary events like the SCORE International Baja 1000 and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In 2020, he débuted Extreme E’s Spark ODYSSEY 21 at the Dakar Rally ahead of its inaugural season the following year, and also contributed to World RX’s Projekt E as it prepared to shift to electric racing.

“The entire motorsport industry will never be the same. Ken Block was a great man and I am so thankful that I was able to be apart of his team,” posted Block’s 2021 Baja 1000 team-mate Jax Redline.

Much of Block’s brand was built on extreme sports thanks to his involvement in founding DC Shoes and Hoonigan Racing Division. With the latter, he was involved in leading unique motoring concepts such as the super-powered “Hoonipigasus” that he raced at Pikes Peak in June. However, perhaps his biggest project is the Gymkhana, a series of YouTube videos that have garnered millions of views. He teamed up with fellow action sports star Travis Pastrana for the 2022 edition, which was released in December and has over 12 million views as of this article’s publishing.

“Ken inspired generations of automotive enthusiasts, and in the process he came to inspire all of us at Ford Motor Company as well,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley, whose company provided race cars for Block from 2010 to 2020. “He was truly one of a kind – an innovator, a talented driver and a marketing genius. Ken personified the joy of driving, drifting and racing. He had a boundless imagination for creating special cars and special moments. Our hearts go out to his family during this time, and we mourn his loss together with the community he fed with his vigor and spirit.”

Block is survived by his wife Lucy and three children. His daughter Lia is also pursuing a racing career of her own in rallying.

Ken Block: 21 November 1967 – 2 January 2023

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