Tue 03 Jan 2023

WRC family mourns loss of Ken Block

The WRC family is saddened to learn that Ken Block passed away on Monday (2nd January).

A true visionary with a passion for all things extreme, the 55-year-old lived a dream that so many people across the world can only aspire to. In doing so, he inspired millions to follow their passions for motorsport. 

As a child growing up in California, Block enjoyed extreme sports such as skateboarding and dirt biking. His interest in aesthetics and design initially led him to pursue a career in architecture. 

Soon, though, Block decided the world of architecture wasn't for him and he packed his bags - headed for Colorado to try his hand as a snowboarder. But, realising that his own talent was limited and that he could never make his passion for snowboarding a professional business, he again returned to California.

Still determined to turn his passion into a career, Block went back to design school. While studying there he became friends with Damon Way, brother of skateboarder Danny Way. Together, they combined their love for adventure sports and artistic design by selling niche clothing to snowboard shops in Colorado.

By 1994, DC Shoes was born. The business continued to prosper, paving the way for Block to start rallying - which he did in 2005, driving a Subaru in his native USA. 

It wasn’t long before he arrived on the FIA World Rally Championship scene, debuting at the 2007 Corona Rally Mexico.

Block’s presence in the WRC grew to the point where, in 2010, he inked a deal with Ford to drive for the Monster World Rally Team. Co-driven by Alex Gelsomino, he started 25 WRC events in total and was loved for his flamboyant style - both inside and outside the car.

Block is survived by his wife Lucy and three children. His passing leaves a huge hole in our sport and several of the WRC’s stars have paid their respects. 

Ott Tänak:
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!”

Thierry Neuville:
“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.”

Hayden Paddon:
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!”

Dani Sordo:
"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!"

Oliver Solberg:
"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."

Petter Solberg:
"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."

Sébastien Ogier:
"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."

Gus Greensmith:
"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."

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
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Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM