Ken Block: Driver Worth Ksh22B Who Visited Kenya Dies

His Hoonigan racing team confirmed the news of his death, mourning him as a visionary and icon who was also a family man.

Ken Block: Driver Worth Ksh22B Who Visited Kenya Dies
Ken Block in Kenya in February 2022. /TWITTER.KEN BLOCK

American professional rally driver and internet sensation Ken Block, who was in Kenya for the East Africa Safari Classic Rally held between February 10-18, 2022, is dead.

The 55-year-old rally star was killed on Monday, January 2 in a snowmobile accident in Wasatch County, Utah in the United States (US).

His Hoonigan racing team confirmed the news of his death, mourning him as a visionary and icon who was also a family man.

The team advised members of the public to give Block's family privacy while they grieve the loss of their loved one.

The late Ken Block in Kenya in February 2022. /FILE

"It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today. Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. 

"He will be incredibly missed. Please respect the family’s privacy at this time while they grieve," Hoonigan wrote.

Block's last tweet had described how his 16-year-old daughter managed to purchase and remodel a 1985 Audi UR Quattro, urging his fans to tune in to his YouTube channel live on Tuesday, January 3 to find out more about the car's first attempts.

"The 4th and final episode of my 16-year-old daughter Lia buying, tearing down, rebuilding and now driving her ‘85 Audi UR Quattro will be live at 8 am PST tomorrow on my YouTube channel.

"Will her Audi finally do a doughnut?? Or will it break in the attempt? Tune in to find out!" he wrote.

Block drove a Tuthill-sponsored Porsche 911 during the East African Safari Classic Rally (EASCR) held in Kenya alongside his Italian co-driver Alex Gelsomino.

Tuthill is a rally team that has won the Safari Classic four times and its wins come with some serious driving talent behind the wheel, including world champions Björn Waldegård and Stig Blomqvist.

He dazzled the East African Safari Classic on the first day, topping the leaderboard after clocking 2:35:52.7. He was closely followed in the adrenaline-filled race that traversed rough terrains of Eburru, Elementaita, Poror, Kipsaos, Nyaru and Kiptagich sections of Nakuru County by defending champion Kris Rosenberger of Austria in 2:38:52.0.

Despite his early lead, Block had to give way after his Porsche 911 developed mechanical gremlins in the nine-day cutthroat event. The race was eventually won by four-time Kenya National Rally Championships winner Baldev 'Baldie' Chager, his first in the classic rally event.

The 1984 Porsche 911 car is a unique motor vehicle as there are only 19 similar cars worldwide. 

The American has been involved in various races including the World Rally Championship and the World Rallycross Championship. He was also a multiple runner-up in the American Rally Championship, and a runner-up in the Global Rallycross Championship and has five X-Games medals.

Ken Block's car modified for the Safari Classic rally. /TWITTER.KEN BLOCK

Block was also a popular figure on social media thanks to his popular YouTube series called Gymkhana. His stunt videos where he performed complicated courses garnered a huge number of views and followers. 

The sports legend was the founder of Hoonigan Industries, a lifestyle brand for auto fanatics and in 2010 he formed Hoonigan Racing Division, his own rally team.