Ken Block Tragically Passes Away In Snowmobile Accident, Automotive World Gives Condolences.
Motorsports legend, Ken Block, passed away Monday at the age of 55, as confirmed by Hoonigan. The professional rally driver, Hoonigan co-founder, and DC Shoes co-founder was involved in a snowmobile accident that took his life.
One scroll through a car fan’s social media shows how big of an impact Block had on the motorsports community. He planted roots as a rally driver in the early 2000s where he would quickly make a name for himself as he progressed through the ranks. It was during this time that he began to develop the Hoonigan brand and launched what might be his most popular body of work in Gymkhana, the series where Block would blast his way through various cities, putting on an absurd driving display along the way.
Wasatch County Sherriff’s Office confirmed Block’s death in a statement. “On January 2, 2023, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Wasatch County 911 Center received a call reporting a snowmobile accident in the Mill Hollow area. Search and Rescue, along with law enforcement from Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Utah State Parks, and the U.S. Forest Service responded. The driver, Kenneth Block, 55 years old out of Park City, Utah, was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him. He was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.”
Our Deepest condolences to the family. What tragic news. @kblock43 was a staple in the automotive culture. His passion for driving & cars radiated thru all car enthusiasts. We all have no choice but to keep the culture & passion alive as Ken would have wanted… Rest In Peace. 🙏🙏🙏 – Speed Society
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The automotive world gives their condolences:
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Ken’s Snowmobile being pulled and airlifted out of the snow.
@car_tok2.o #duet with @Car_tok2 #kenblock this is sad #kenblock #rip #ripkenblock #hoonicorn #byebye #goodbye ♬ original sound – Car_tok2
We were just out with Ken and The Hoonigan boys for a race. What a great time with them.
In 2020, the world would be introduced to the series known as “Hoonicorn vs the World.”
The concept is about as simple as the title makes it sound – the crew over at Hoonigan stepped up to the plate, issuing a challenge to some of the most intense cars in the world to see what they’ve got against the one and only Hoonicorn.
In season 1, the 1400 hp twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang would go head to head with everything from a trophy truck to a purpose-built drag car. With the one and only Ken Block behind the wheel, the Hoonicorn would certainly be enough to slay some of the toughest competitors that stepped up.
Hoonicorn Specs1965 FORD MUSTANG HOONICORN RTR V2* 0-60 : 1.8 seconds* Top speed 255 mph* RTR designed carbon fiber Ford Mustang widebody kit* Modified 410 ci Roush Yates Ford 6.7-liter V8* Garrett twin-turbo* Switzer Dynamics intake manifold* Sadev 6-speed transmission SC90-24* Sadev all-wheel-drive system* ASD Motorsports full tubular chassis* ASD Motorsports inboard suspension* Motec M150 ECU* Rotiform KB1 (forged 3pc – gloss white), 18×10.5, 5×120 PCD, 26 offset* Toyo Tires Proxes R888R, 295/35/18* 1400 hp / Torque: 1250 ft·lb
With that, in the first episode of season two, Laughlin brought his 4,000 hp purpose-built drag Corvette to the table. The supercharged monster of a Chevrolet is the most powerful car that has stood toe to toe with the Hoonicorn to date.
Speed Society / Hot Wheels Corvette Specs
2012 Z06 / ZR1 Corvette
* 526 Hemi
* Psi Supercharger
* 4,000 horsepower (Detuned to about 1,700 for racing surface)
* Lenco transmission
* Stock wheelbase, stock body
* Fueltech electronics
After receiving the challenge, Laughlin quickly made plans and Laughlin loaded up the car, hitting the road from Texas to head out to the California coast.
Upon seeing the venue, things would get interesting in a hurry. While the surface that Alex found upon arriving in California wasn’t exactly a drag strip and would require the Corvette to be turned down a good bit to be able to get something that resembles traction, the matchup is one that certainly had us intrigued.
Alex was naturally a bit concerned as the sort of power that his Corvette makes can be a challenge to control on a well-prepared track let alone an airstrip in the middle of a desert. Laughlin commented, “The track was an old airport runway, covered in dust and debris as it’s on an active construction site with earth movers and dump trucks everywhere.” He continued, “We discussed how much more of a disadvantage we had than we originally thought. While the Corvette makes 3X the power of the Hoonicorn, getting to use any of it and even get traction was really what we were up against.”
While Alex was hopeful for a few test runs to see what the car could do along with getting it dialed in a bit, the window for tuning would be small.
The first test would be a 60-foot hit where Laughlin says “It just spun the tire, basically the only thing the car did was a really good burnout. At this point, I thought we were completely doomed. The pavement was like ice and on top of that, it was covered in dust. I just knew this was going to be so embarrassing and an awfully anticlimactic episode.”
The race was supposed to take place on the day of this test hit but it ended up being pushed back another day. Luckily, this would prove to be an essential time for Laughlin and the Speed Society crew to strategize to try and save the race.
On day 3 of the trip and the day that the best of 3 races would finally go down, a bit of progress was made. After a visit to the sporting goods store to buy weights to add to the rear of the Corvette for traction and changing the supercharger pulley and gear ratio so that the car would make about 1,700 hp, little less than half of its full potential, it was time to get to it!
Down in the videos below, we take you behind the scenes of the first episode of season two that is now putting Ken Block’s 14-year-old daughter, Lia Block, behind the wheel to square off with Alex Laughlin and the Speed Society Corvette.
Will Laughlin’s plans end up making this a race for the ages? Well, you’re going to have to tune in to find out just that!
Be sure to check out both videos to really get the best of the action from Hoonicorn vs Speed Society.
Hope you’re ready for Hoonicorn vs the World Season 2 because it’s coming at us with a full head of steam! Check out Hoonigan’s take on the event below!