We’re still processing the news that Ken Block has sadly passed away after being involved in a snowmobile accident.
The 55-year-old made a huge impact on the world of motorsport, through both YouTube via his Hoonigan exploits but also through competition, having competed in the World Rally Championship, X Games, rallycross and more recently, the American Rally Association championship.
Such was the impact he had, since the news broke, the rallying and off-road community have paid tribute to one of America’s greatest rally drivers, sending their condolences to his family and the Hooligan team.
World has lost one of it’s greats. Ken Block’s vision and talent created a whole new motorsports culture that so many of us admire and enjoy. My thoughts and condolences go out to Ken’s family and friends.
Rest in peace, Ken
When Ken Block said to me, “Right Five, 100, Crest”, I had to to fess up my ignorance on pace notes, “What does that mean?”, I replied.
“It means I have 100 metres to make up my mind if I’m going to brake or not!”, was his explanation.
This was 2019, we were in the Swiss Alps (Rallye du Valais), and I was shooting the rally for Ken. I knew there was a jump on this one particular stage and, as was often the case, we discussed it. I went to photograph the jump and my “Boss” didn’t disappoint. That’s the photo you see here: men, car and camera in harmony – pretty much the ethos behind the phenomenal online success story of #KB43
Back in 2007 Brian Scotto commissioned McKlein to photograph two young Americans driving Group N Subarus in WRC. One was Travis Pastrana, who I’d heard of, the other, Ken Block, who I knew nothing about. Over the next decade I got to know all about Ken Block as our paths regularly crossed in both WRC and World Rallycross. However, it was in more recent years when we became good friends.
Throughout my entire career some of my all time favourite assignments were from Ken. He trusted me to deliver and welcomed me in to his infectious HRD team. Beyond Switzerland, I was proud to be a Hoonigan in Mexico, Ireland, Barbados, San Marino and Kenya. On my phone I have a list of locations for a future road trip from LA to Park City, taking in the Moab canyons. Ken gave me the list and I now want to make this trip more than ever.
What a sad news to hear. A hero of my young years left us. Deep thoughts to his friend and family. We’ll never forget him. Goodbye Ken.
Our sport lost a great man today. Ken was a visionary and a true legend who has inspired so many of us. Rest In Peace, Ken!
Shocked and saddened to hear the passing of a true icon of our sport. A passionate racer and real pioneer that inspired so many of us. Rest in peace buddy. All my sympathies are with the family and friends.
Can’t believe the news today of Ken Block’s passing. Way too soon for someone who has done so much for our sport. It was an absolute pleasure working with you on some events and I can not imagine how hard this will be for family and friends. Passing on our best wishes to everyone! RIP but will never be forgotten!
A tough day for motorsports and sports. My deepest condolences to the Block family and friends. Rest in peace Ken, and thank you for the great show you always gave us!
My hero, my friend. You were a true inspiration and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and help you gave me. All my thoughts are with the family.
A top driver, a great friend, a family man, and an inspiration to millions all over the world. Today is a very sad day and all our thoughts are with Ken’s amazing family.
Such sad news. Ken was a visionary, so passionate and inspiring. He knew like no other how to combine motorsport and a big show. He lived his life to the fullest and I’ll never forget his smile and laugh. Sending my thoughts and support to his family and friends.
The impact this man has left on the motorsport world will resonate for generations to come. A visionary & a pioneer of all things Hooning, there really was only one Ken Block. My deepest sympathies to the Block family.
We were texting a few hours ago. I can’t believe you’re taken from us. It’s unreal! My heart is broken, all my thoughts are with Lucy, the kids and the Hoonigan family…
I woke up to the heartbreaking news of my childhood role model passing away. I watched your videos since I was a little girl dreaming of doing what you do, and met you for the first time in 2016. Rest in peace Ken. You will forever be a legend to the sport. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
No no no…. I can’t believe it, two weeks ago we sat here together and were talking about Lia Block and how talented she is and about all your future plans… and now the world has stopped turning for you!! I’m speechless! My thoughts and prayers are with your family and your loved ones!! RIP my friend.
In shock at the passing of Ken Block.
Such a talent that did so much for our sport. He was a true visionary with his own unique style & infectious smile.
Our sport lost one of the best today but more importantly a great man.
Sending love & hugs to the Block family.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend Ken Block. An inspiration for us all and a true gentleman of our sport. The FIA’s thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time. RIP Ken Block.
Our love is with Lucy, Lia, Kira & Mika right now. We lost a great friend and they lost an amazing husband and father. Ken gave both Alex & I so many incredible opportunities. He was family to us.
Absolutely gutted to wake up to this horrible news. The world has lost a great driver, rival to many and most importantly an incredible father and husband. RIP Ken
What an incredible person to learn from, battle with and to admire over the last two decades. Ken’s influence on the automotive world cannot be quantified. In addition to pioneering a roadmap for the rest of us to follow in the marketing of Motorsport— Ken Block was, above all else, a devoted family man. My heart and prayers go out to Lucy and the kids.
Go fast risk every thang was your slogan.
There is no progress in life without risks.
You pushed the limits to the heights nobody imagined.
Gravity did not seem to hold you down.
You showed us that impossible is possible.
You changed the car culture.
You gave wings for our dreams.
You left a trace in our hearts.
You did it with smile.
Thank you Ken!
You are now in the Eternal Light.
The world lost the best. RIP Ken and condolences to those closest to him.
I found rallycoss through this visionary.
My first ever FIA WRX race he gave me all he could to help me feel comfortable.
The biggest visionary and nicest guy iv met and raced with.
I’m sure he’s influenced all our lives in some way within the motorsport world whether it’s the way we design liveries or thinking we can drift around donut shops. You’ll be missed forever
Ken played a huge part in many people’s lives. He may have been most famous for his social media reach, and his exceptional business acumen in the creative and branding fields, but rallying seemed to be the thing that brought the biggest smile to his face and definitely brought out his competitive side.
I think the most intense discussions I had with Ken revolved around rally history. We spent a great deal of time speaking about the DF collection cars of Stig Blomqvist (RS200), Colin McRae (Focus), Richard Burns (Subaru) and Hannu Mikkola (Audi). When we acquired the Mikkola Audi he reached out straight away and asked a series of questions – little did I know that six months later he would align with the Audi brand (he obviously did!!).
His associations with Ford, Subaru and latterly Audi were as much about the heritage of those brands in the rally world for Ken. The energy that comes through in Ken’s posts after driving the Audi’s in the Audi Heritage collection to me represent best who Ken really was and where his passion lay.
I hope I am not too presumptuous in calling Ken a friend but he certainly made me feel like I was and I hope that he knew I felt he was my friend. Ken will be sorely missed by many but certainly by me and all at Dirtfish. Our thoughts are totally with Lucy and the kids at this time. RIP Ken.
Legend is really the only word that cuts it. And legends aren’t supposed to die.
We were lucky enough to spend time with Ken, both in car and out, and it was clear that, for him, this sport was sheer love. And in a beautiful way, he was able to share that with his whole family. The entire motorsport world feels this loss today, and will continue to feel it each time we step into the field.
There are no words strong enough to represent how sorry we are for Ken’s family, and we just want them to know that their rally family is here. Today and always.
Ken was a pioneer for the sport bringing it to people in such an engaging way. He was an amazing leader, team-mate, husband and father and loved to share his passion and experience with his family. There is a huge void in his family and motorsport with his passing. My heart is heavy with thoughts of Lucy, Lia, Kira, Mika, Alex, Derek and the Hoonigan family.