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King of Gymkhana Ken Block (55) dies

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Gymkhana star Ken Block has died in a snowmobile accident in the Mill Hollow area of Wasatch County, Utah. The accident happened on Monday, January 2nd. Block was 55.

The former WRC and World RX rally cross driver, based in Park City, Utah, was out with a group riding snowmobiles on Monday. At one point, Block was on his own, riding his snowmobile up a steep slope, when it overturned and landed on top of him. According to the Wasatch County sheriff’s office, “we were alerted of the incident around 2 PM. A search and rescue party could only pronounce the rider dead at the scene from the injuries sustained in the incident.”

Photo Ford Motor Company


Block became a legend through the Gymkhana drift and stunt videos that have gathered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. “He changed the world of filming cars more than anyone else,” said Top Gear host Chris Harris in a tribute on Instagram. True enough, with his carefully directed stunt videos on the most diverse locations, Ken Block created a newfound cool for rally cars and rally driving with a whole new generation. As a savvy marketeer, Block pushed his own DC shoes brand, the Monster energy drink and was the driving force behind successful cooperations with Subaru, Ford and lastly with Audi. Block had just released a first ‘Electricana’, drifting his way through Las Vegas in an electric Audi.

Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonigan. Photo Audi

Full of plans

The American participated in a couple of WRC events as well. Between 2007 and 2018, he started in 25 WRC events. His best finish was seventh in Rally Mexico in 2013 in a Ford Fiesta WRC. In 2022, he came close to taking the title in the North American rally championship, winning four rallies in his Hoonigan Racing Division-entered Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

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Ken Block (USA) is seen racing in shakedown during the World Rally Championship Mexico in Leon, Mexico on March 12, 2020. Photo Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

From 2011 until 2015, Block was also a regular in the world rally cross championship World RX. He managed podium finishes in the world championship with an M-Sport-engineered Ford Focus RS RX and the Ford Fiesta RS RX. For 2023, Ken Block was preparing a program that would see him, his wife Lucy and his fifteen-year-old daughter Lia participate in the North American rally championship. He had also planned to enter a 1400 hp, four-wheel drive Porsche 911 in the Pikes Peak hill climb.

Ken Block competes at the Red Bull Global Rally Cross in San Pedro, CA on 13 September, 2015. Photo Red Bull Content Pool


Messages of support came from all around the world as soon as word of the fatal accident spread. Ari Vatanen said of Block: “Gravity did not seem to hold you down.” Tom Kristensen hailed the friendly nature of Block. Mattias Ekström said: “Ken Block’s vision and talent created a whole new motorsports culture.” It is clear, the four-wheel drive drift king will be missed.

Ken Block awaits competition at Red Bull Global Rallycross, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA, on July 5, 2015. Photo Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool
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