After publishing his Gymkhana videos on YouTube, Ken Block became a YouTube celebrity and an automobile superstar. Ken Block, a rally driver from California, had an unusual start in the automotive world and has since “drifted” his way into the hearts of gearheads all over the world, becoming an internet phenomenon in the process.
Ken Block began his career as a draftsman for an architecture business in California before deciding to pursue his passion for action sports and become a rally racer.
Block had limited success in racing, but it was when he began recording his gymkhana stunt driving that he got his big break.
Block’s life has since become a compilation of great episodes of classic tire-shredding drift moments, and his life has become a collection of multiple great episodes of iconic tire-shredding drift moments.
Ken Block has become a household name in the automotive world, and here’s a quick rundown of his life.
Founded a Successful Business
When Ken Block met Damon Way, brother of legendary skateboarder Danny Way, he was creating equipment for specialty retailers in Colorado that catered to professional athletes. They each tried a few enterprises that didn’t work out, but they persevered and established DC shoes in 1994.
Block had to borrow $10,000 from his parents in order to do so. Danny Way also contributed to the brand’s promotion, and it quickly found traction among elite athletes. They eventually sold the company for $87 million in 2004.
Rally Rookie of the Year
Ken Block debuted in the National Rally scene in 2005 as a member of the Vermont SportsCar squad. He made his debut at the Sno*Drift event, finishing 5th in Group N and 7th overall.
Block finished fifth overall in the National Rally Championship at the end of the 2005 season, with five top-five results. He then went on to earn Rookie of the Year. Block’s greatest finish to date occurred in 2006, when he took second place overall.
Block has raced in various action sports professionally, including Gumball Rally, One Lap of America, Rally America, and the World Rally Championship and World Rallycross Championship. He’s also dabbled in other extreme sports like snowboarding and motocross. He even owns DC Mountain Lab, a snowboarding park in Utah.
The stunt driver has five X Games medals to his name, as well as several podium finishes. Block came in second place in 2014, missing out on the gold medal by only 5 points.
Series of Gymkhanas
Ken Block was a relatively unknown rally race driver in January 2008, but things would change in the months following the publication of his first video, which featured Gymkhana practice.
Block’s Gymkhana movies show him performing tire-burning exploits in front of the camera in substantially modified rally-spec all-wheel-drive automobiles. The Gymkhana series is the pinnacle of driving excesses, with Block performing leaps, drifts, slides, and other amazing stunts over a series of obstacles until the last edition.
To be acknowledged internationally, racers had to win multiple international races back in the day. Fast forward to Ken Block, who hasn’t won any races but is one of the most well-known racers due to recordings of his incredible stunt driving abilities.
Gymkhana 2020, his most recent video series, has already surpassed 30 million views on YouTube, but in that episode, he actually let Travis Pastrana drive.
When you consider his other videos and the fact that he has over 6 million combined subscribers on the video streaming platform, it’s easy to see why he’s so popular.
In 2010, Ken Block joined with Ford to create the Monster World Rally Team, a motorsport brand named after his image that competes in the World Rally Championship. It was called the Hoonigan Racing Division in 2012.
Despite the fact that the team did not have much success on the race tracks, it was a commercial success. Aside from competing in rallies, the company has expanded into producing products for car fans. Block is a co-owner and refers to himself as the “Head Hoonigan in Charge.”
Featured In Video Games
Colin McRae Dirt is a popular racing video game developed by Codemasters and named after the renowned Colin McRae. Block appears in Colin McRae: Dirt 2 as a driver alongside the Subaru Rally Team USA Impreza.
He appears in Dirt 3 as a gymkhana instructor and driver, driving his Ford Fiesta Open Class and the Ford Fiesta RS Rally Car. Block’s Hoonigan is featured prominently in the Trick Rush, Freestyle, and Head to Head modes in another of the game’s series, Dirt: Showdown.
Since the show’s inception in 2008, many radically modified and hyper-powered automobiles have adorned Block’s Gymkhana footage. The 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2 is, however, the vehicle that stands head and shoulders above the rest. The automobile, known as the Hoonicorn, was the show-stopper at Gymkhana 7.
The car was upgraded to include Garret Twin Turbos, resulting in a 1,400 horsepower capacity. It was powered by a Roush Yates 410 cubic inch V8 engine. Many assume that the Block-Hoonicorn romance is over now that Ford and Block are parting ways in January 2021.
Ken Block’s daughter Lia learned to drive a stick in a 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 Rs when she was 13 years old. Lia is a natural, and the fact that she could do donuts in such a short amount of time while still having a shattered arm was even more astounding.
Her father gave her a full day of drifting with professional drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. for her 14th birthday. Her calm demeanor and quick learning rate indicate that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
If you enjoy doing automotive stunts, it’s only natural that you’d have a garage full of vehicles to choose from. Block’s garage does not disappoint, as it is chock-full of powerful and thrilling automobiles.
The 1986 Ford RS200, which has over 700 horsepower on pump gas, and the 2013 Ford F-150 RaptorTRAX, which is the world’s fastest snowcat, are two of the more eye-catching cars in his Utah garage.
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