American rally driver Ken Block has tragically passed away aged 55 following a snowmobile accident, his team has confirmed.
Block’s company Hoonigan Industries, operator of Hoonigan Racing, announced the extremely sad news of his passing.
The accident happened in Utah, United States, with the Sheriff’s Office reporting that the snowmobile which Block had been riding on a steep slope upended and landed on him.
It was sadly confirmed that Block was “pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident”.
Hoonigan, in their statement, said: “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.”
Block made 24 appearances in the World Rally Championship, and won prolifically in Rally America and the Global RallyCross Championship.
He won the 2005 Rally America Rookie of the Year award at the end of his first season of competition. He also won three silver and two bronze X Games medals in his career.
Block was also known as the co-founder of sportswear company DC Shoes, before becoming a co-owner of auto enthusiasts apparel brand Hoonigan Industries, where he was titled “Head Hoonigan In Charge” (HHIC).
His Gymkhana video series, which featured him tackling dangerous tracks and obstacle courses, drew millions of YouTube views.
In a social media post, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “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.”
2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button posted: “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 and infectious smile.
“Our sport lost one of the best today but more importantly a great man. Sending love and hugs to the Block family.”
“Thank you for the show Ken Block,” the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, host of the Spanish Grand Prix, posted. “We will miss you.”
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon also took to social media to post his tribute: “We lost a legend of our sport today. Thank you Ken for sharing racing passion the way you did.”
The entire PlanetF1.com team would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Ken Block’s family and friends.