Ken Block is a popular professional rally driver and one of the founders of a known American company which makes footwear for sports with special demands, such as snowboarding and even more for skateboarding – DC Shoes.
He is currently driving for the Hoonigan Racing Division and has still Ford as his sponsor. This is a pretty big thing and he is very proud of it since he earns much cash thanks to this deal.
He was born as Kenneth Block on November 22, 1967, in a place called Long Beach, California in the United States.
There isn’t a lot of information about his early years and childhood. He doesn’t share stuff from the past and it is hard to find anything about his family and siblings.
We know that he grew up riding dirt bikes and that his brother was interested in drag racing but he was searching for something else. He used to spend a bunch of time with his brother who is also pretty good at sports and many think that the duo got together well because of it.
He was a student at Orange Glen High School after which he enrolled the Palomar College. He wad never really a huge fan of school and he wanted to finish it to make his parents proud, not because he was actually too interested in them.
That is known from his biography which he had to present at work. He doesn’t usually talk about these things.
He has started his career in 2005 when he was already a successful businessman and the co-owner of a popular brand DC Shoes.
He was a DC Shoes marketing executive when he decided to enter a rally school and he was then 35 years old.
It was in 2004, in a rally school called “Team O’Neill” in New Hampshire and he loved it there.
He was almost 40 years old at that moment and his career as a driver was not aimed at a new way of earning money but to fulfill his dreams.
He entered driving when he was already doing fine with other ventures so he was more relaxed than most of the other drivers who had to earn for the future.
In 2005 he joined the Vermont SportsCar team and competed for them in a Subaru WRX STi from 2005.
In his first season, he managed to finish in the Top 5 for five times which was an outstanding performance, especially for a driver who never competed.
He was also placed on the 4th place in the American National Rally Championship. This was a pretty good score for someone who has never been really famous before.
Due to his great achievements, he was the winner of the Rookie of the Year Award given to him by Rally America, the most important organization for rally events and championships.
In 2006, he continued his collaboration and signed a new deal with his sponsor Subaru alongside his teammate Travis Pastrana. The duo was called “Subaru Rally Team USA”. The team has won a bronze medal at X games XII and were super excited about it.
Ken was second in the 2006 Rally America National Championship. In the season of 2007, he gained a silver medal from X games XIII and finished on the third place in the whole Championship.
In this season he tried himself in rallies outside the States so he competed in Rally Mexico and also in Rally New Zealand competition. By 2007 ended he was 19 times on the podium altogether.
Ken loved going on rallies all around the world, not only because he loved to drive on roads he never drove on but also because he wanted to get to know other countries and it was like being a tourist for him, not only a rally driver.
He was always surprised by the fact that he has fans all over the world who would come and watch him drive his rally.
In 2008 he received a new car from his sponsor: it was a 2008 Subaru WRX STi especially designed and customized for him and his needs.
He joined the Canadian Rally Championship and won it for the first time. This was a crucial moment in his career, where he saw that he is going to succeed in life.
Although he and his partner have won the competition they didn’t gain any points because both he and his co-driver didn’t have a Canadian competition license. He also won the New York Rally competition.
After that, he attended the X Games XIV where he finished 3rd. Block was also 2nd at 2008 Rally America National Championship.
In 2008 Block was a guest in “Top Gear” and he also made a YouTube video “Gymkhana 2” which turned out to be a hit. The video went viral.
In 2010, Ken Block decided to leave Subaru team and he joined Ford. He was no longer sponsored by Pirelli and Castrol but with BF Goodrich and Motil.
In 2010 he won the Rally America for the 5th time in the row. In 2011 he sustained injuries at 2011 Rally de Portugal when he rolled down with his Ford Fiesta. The injuries weren’t severe but the car was damaged.
In 2013 he was in the Top 10 list after driving at the Mexican rally. This was a pretty good score as well.
In 2014, Castrol decided to be his sponsor again. He was a member of competition in Spain but came only 12th because he had a tire puncture.
In 2015 he has put a lot of effort into his Hoonigan company and drove much less in order to put his company on solid ground which will bring him a great income.
In 2016 Ken Block and Matt LeBlanc (known actor from “Friends”) filmed a video for Top Gear but they rose a lot of negative commentaries since they drove a car near the Cenotaph War Memorial.
Later, while he was interviewed before the Monster Gymkhana Grid competition in South Africa by a journalist from The Sun, Ken described the event and told that media blew it out of proportion.
He stated that they were very respectable while making this London piece and that he drove 150 m away from the monument and couldn’t make it wrong.
He also stated that they had a permit and that the crew of Top Gear is too responsible not to gain all the permits needed.
In 2016 he joined the World Rallycross Championship and finished in the 3rd place.
In 2004 he also joined Gumball 3000 Rally with his Subaru. In 2006 he and Brian Scotto competed for One Lap of America win.
In 2006 he filmed an episode for “Stunt Junkies”, a series on Discovery channel. He jumped 52 m long and 7 m high with his Subaru WRX STi.
In 2007 he became a member of the DC Shoes Snowboarding team and the stunt they made at New Zealand’s Snow Pack cause one of his vertebrae to break. He was hospitalized and later ended up on the cover of “Snowboarder Magazine”.
In 2009 he made a video for “Top Gear”, filmed at Inyokern Airport.
In 2010 Block released his first video. After uploading it on Youtube it gained 7 million views in only 1 week.
In 2011 he released “The Hollywood Megsmercial” on Youtube.
In 2012 his fifth video of “Gymkhana” was released where he drove his Ford Fiesta in San Francisco. He is a world record holder for the fastest snowcat.
In 2015 he had an appearance in the video game called “Need for Speed”. He appears as the Style Icon. This was a great honor for him because he is a video game lover himself.
He was also featured in a racing video game called “Colin McRae: Dirt 2”. He was a driver in that part.
In “Colin McRae: Dirt 3” he was created to be a Gymkhana teacher. He says that it’s very cool to see himself as a character in these games. He also appears in “Dirt: Showdown” racing event.
Ken popularized Gymkhana, which is a complex and subtle sport which attracts people because of the rides which are similar more to a stunt show than to a ride.
A lot of Gymkhana contesters were inspired while watching online videos which remind on a mix of rally and drift.
Ken Block made himself famous by doing wild acrobatics in deserted hangars and airports.
Gymkhana also inspired new video games. He was happy to hear that.
He made his first Gymkhana video at El Toro Airfield in California and his Gymkhana series garnered over 300 mullion views so far.
He made most of his wealth from DC Shoes, where he was the Chief Brand Officer. He later sold his ownership and moved his interest into Hoonigan Industries.
It is an apparel brand connected with cars and driving and he is the co-owner of it.
He won several awards. Fortune Magazine put him on their 40 under 40 lists.
He has received the Golden Pencil award due to his “Gymkhana” videos which went viral. The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles which is one of the biggest automotive museums gave him the “Automotive Inspiration Award”.
The city of Los Angeles rewarded him because of his contribution to having a car culture. He also received “Most Thrilling Driver” award in the United Kingdom.
Ken was a co-owner of a company which became huge during the big broom of skateboarding.
He was a sponsor of Rob Dyrdek, a young skater, who is today known for an MTV’s series “Ridiculousness”. Rob also starred in a reality TV series named “Rob and Big” which aired on MTV and was a big hit.
Ken today drives for the Hoonigan Racing Division which was formerly called “Monster World Rally Team”.
He has lost his previous 1991 Ford Escort Cosworth rally car in the summer of 2018 when the car has been burnt down.
But he had built a new Cosworth car: Cossie V2 and it is enhanced in a major way.
The car is awesome and can be seen on his website. It is created in a collaboration with Ash Thorp, a legend who worked on the X-Men: First Class movie and Prometheus.
Ken and Ash designed together with a beautiful modern interpretation of Ford Escort RS Cosworth car.
He has big plans with this car: it is made for Ken’s Cossie World Tour. Hoonigan created and began filming a new YouTube series that will be uploaded on Ken Block’s YouTube channel.
This YouTube series will discover everything we need to know about world competing that Ken and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino will go to with their new Cossie V2.
They will be filmed on many different rally events such as rally championships but will also show the Goodwood Festival of Speed event and Gymkhana GRID event.
Ken keeps his private life secretive. He is married to a woman named Tracy Block to whom he got married in 2005. She is also a car enthusiast and she participated in several rally races.
Ken loves the fact that his wife has a passion for cars and driving so he gave her a very special gift one year. He gave her the Ford Fiesta E2 car made for the rally and he also gave her 1974 Ford Bronco.
She is also a big car enthusiast and is not affraid of quick driving or rally.
He and his wife have three children: Chanson, Marley and Alaina and they are all big sports enthusiasts.
Ken has a beautiful big home and an enormous garage to fit all of his cars in.
He owns Ford Fiesta, Ford Escort, Ford Mustang, Subaru Impreza and a few more cars. Ken of course redesigned them and they were customized for rally events and for him.
Full name: Kenneth Block
Date of birth: November 22, 1967
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States
Profession: pro rally driver, businessman
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 84 kgs
Net Worth: $200 million