Today, it’s all about Ken.
One thing has become abundantly obvious in the last week: KB had been elevated to that place of the superfluous surname.
In the same way we only had one Colin.
There’s only one Ken.
And this is that guy. Look at the pictures, there’s pleasure to match the intensity as the Hoonigans visited their favorite locations on planet earth and Ken got to drive the best roads around.
Guanajuato, México for Gymkhana 10 meant a big team from Utah as well as a plenty help on the ground locally. Ken loved that place and México loved Ken.
The helmet shot captures Ken completely. Every aspect of every moment on set had to caught. He loved to drive, but he also understood the power of what he did and how much the world wanted to share in it.
But when the helmet was on, the story simplified. It became a story of one man, his car and the road ahead. The hands together, deep in thought start-line shot from Pikes Peak shows the man deep in thought and considering each and every one of the 156 turns which sat in the 12.42 miles from bottom to top.
Those moments of solitude provided stark contrast to Ken’s life on set, when his time was rarely his own. Three men have provided consistent counsel and co-driving companionship down the years.
Alex Gelsomino shared every aspect of in-car competition with Ken and loved every moment of it. Brian Scotto’s the guy enjoying the awards. Brian’s the first creative guy I ever met with KB and somebody I’ve been in awe of professionally ever since. Hollywood, the super-steep oval at Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, all the good stuff was Scotto. As well as that, from Gym three he was the dude riding the Segway while KB smoked a donut around him.
Then there’s Derek Dauncey. The man who made all those plans happen. When there was an engine running, Derek was never far from Ken’s side – yet strangely faded to the background when there was a picture to be taken.
And, yes, you’re right, that is Jay Leno being given a guided tour of a Group B car originally built by Reliant and comprising the doors from a Ford Sierra. Or Mercury. Depending which side of the pond you’re reading this. Ken loved Group B and the RS200.
Driving all of these cars was physical business (note the all-American gum shield), but kick-boxing, the dogs and mountain biking in and around the Park City peaks had kept him comfortably in shape as forties became fifties.
And, hell yeah Ken, you really did make a TV show about a YouTube video.
But the picture that I want to leave this story on is the most poignant one. It’s the one with KB proudly applauding his rally driving wife Lucy.
The world lost one of the truly good guys last week, but the Block family lost a whole lot more than that.