Ken Block, Hoonigan Founder, Killed in Snowmobile Crash

A photo of rally driver Ken Block in his racing suit

Ken Block on the World Rallycross of Portugal in April 2017.
Photograph: Paulo Oliveira / DPI / NurPhoto (Getty Photographs)

Ken Block, the rally racer most well-known for co-founding Hoonigan Industries and starring within the wildly widespread Gymkhana sequence of stunt driving movies, was killed in a snowmobile crash on Monday, January 2nd, according to a statement posted to Instagram. He was 55 years previous.

Block’s profession reached far past the rally and racing world — alongside Damon Approach, Block co-founded the attire firm DC Sneakers in 1994. He was a aggressive skateboarder, motocrosser, and snowboarder. However to automotive fanatics, Block is greatest identified for rallying and as a founding father of Hoonigan Industries.

Block’s racing profession started in Rally America. In 2005, he entered the nationwide rally racing scene as a member of the Vermont SportsCar staff, and nabbed the title of Rookie of the 12 months. The next 12 months, Block entered the primary X Video games rally driving occasion, and in 2007 he started competing within the World Rally Championship. In 2010, Block based the Monster World Rally Crew, turning into the primary American driver to compete in WRC rally racing. In 2012, he modified the identify of the staff to Hoonigan Racing Division, competing within the World Rallycross Championship, and later, FIA World Rallycross.

Away from the world of rally racing, Block was greatest generally known as a co-founder of Hoonigan Industries, a media manufacturing and attire firm targeted on youthful automotive fanatics. Hoonigan quickly turned well-known by means of Block’s Gymkhana video sequence. The primary video, revealed in 2008, appears virtually tame in contrast with what got here after: An more and more excessive sequence of movies showcasing Block (and later, an entire cavalcade of stunt drivers) drifting, leaping, and sliding round in a masterclass of automotive management and braveness. Early movies showcased Block’s rally and rallycross automobiles, however more moderen movies featured custom-built Hoonigan machines constructed solely for Gymkhana. The newest installment, Gymkhana 11, featured Block ripping round Las Vegas in an electrical Audi rally automotive.

Via his competitors in WRC and rallycross, Block turned the face of rally racing in America, taking the game from an esoteric area of interest to mainstream renown amongst automotive fanatics. And Hoonigan rose to a dominant place within the automotive world, talking to a youthful technology of automotive fanatics and making a rowdy, DIY picture that resonated with gearheads across the globe.

Block is survived by his spouse, Lucy, and three kids; his daughter, Lia, has lately been concerned with Hoonigan video sequence of her personal, and Lucy and Lia have each competed alongside Ken within the American Rally Affiliation championship. Jalopnik has reached out to a household consultant for remark; we’ll replace this text with any info we obtain.