Gymkhana star and internet sensation Ken Block has passed away at the age of 55.
“It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today.
“Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.”
It’s understood that Ken died while attempting to ascend a steep slope, causing the snowmobile to upend and land on top of him. Due to his injuries, officers pronounced him dead at the scene.
Ken Block’s Early Career
Of course, most of us will know Ken Block as the daring stunt driver who captivated YouTube audiences with his high-stake videos. Or, through the Hoonigan brand, which is the towering automotive titan that he leaves behind.
However, Ken was more than just a gun for hire behind the wheel. He began as an entrepreneur, leading DC Shoes to success before eventually selling his shares to focus solely on driving.
His appearances in the FIA World Rally Championship and World RX Championship were arguably his most high-profile ones, culminating in a pair of podiums in World RX. More locally though, Ken would enjoy plenty of victories on the US rallycross and rally scene over the years, as well as multiple medals at the X Games.
During his long tenure as one of the best-known performance drivers around, Ken represented just a few motoring brands. Subaru was where it all began, but it was Ford that really allowed him to spread his wings, signing off on ambitious projects to create iconic vehicles like the Hoonicorn, Hoonitruck, and many more.
That relationship came to an end last year though, when it was announced that Audi would be fronting all of Ken’s future endeavours, adding a new electric twist, and plenty of budget. The result was a typically impressive video shot under the lights of Vegas, in which Ken wrestles the 1400hp ‘S1 Hoonitron’ around Sin City.
It’s worth remembering too that Ken was a family man. His daughter Lia had recently started appearing with him on the Hoonigan YouTube channel, and it’s known that Ken was passionate about helping her achieve her own successes in the world of rallycross.
Ken Block and Fast Car’s paths have crossed many times over the years, from having him perform at TRAX to interviewing him in Paris in 2010. We might know him best for his gymkhana videos, but he was so much more than a talented wheelman. He was an entrepreneur, a pioneer, an ambassador for our culture, but most of all, he was bloody lovely guy, a father and a husband, who’s going to be massively missed.
Everyone here at Fast Car sends their deepest sympathies to Ken’s friends and family. He will forever be an icon.