Motorsport world mourns shock death of rally icon Ken Block, 55

Most famous for his motorkhana videos, motorsports legend Ken Block's death has been met with a flood of tributes.

Ken Block waves to the camera from inside his rally car after completing a stage.
Motorsports legend Ken Block has died after a snowmobile accident, aged 55. Picture: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Tributes have flowed for rally driver and acclaimed stuntman Ken Block, after the 55-year-old died in a snowmobile accident. Block, most notable for his eye-catching motorkhana stunts, founded his own team Honnigans, which announced his death on Tuesday.

"It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today," the team's official Instagram account posted. "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."

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Bursting onto the America. rallying scene in 2005, Block quickly established himself as a top competitor before his viral motorkhana videos propelled him to further heights. The co-founder of shoe company DC Shoes, Block would found the Monster World Rally Team in 2010, later renamed the Hoonigan Racing Division.

Though he continued his rallying exploits, notably scoring World Rally Championship points in his last time out at the 2013 Rally of Mexico, his marketing and social media nous arguably matched his skills behind the wheel. Block is survived by his wife Lucy, as well as his three children.

Block’s YouTube channel has nearly two million subscribers and he had over seven million followers on Instagram. The videos from his Gymkhana video series are some of the most popular motorsports videos on the internet.

After relationships with Ford and Subaru throughout his career, Block inked a deal with Audi in the fall in a deal designed to help promote the automaker’s electric cars. His daughter Lia, 16, is a rally racer herself and competed in her first race at the age of 11. Lia has been competing for her father’s Hoonigan Racing since beginning her career.

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Ken Block's death announced on sombre night for sports world

Supercars outfit Tickford Racing were among many teams drivers and fans to pay tribute to Block following news breaking of his death. Social media was flooded with tributes, with many fans crediting Block as their gateway into motorsports.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ken Block, a peerless ambassador for motorsport and friend of fellow racers the world over," the team wrote. "Epic driver, ultimate car guy, true legend. We extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family."

The news of Block's death came at roughly the same time the NFL world came to a standstill, after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was taken from the field in an ambulance. Hamlin required CPR for nearly 10 minutes before he was loaded into a awaiting ambulance and taken from the field, with his condition listed as 'critical'.

On an already sombre night for sports fans, the news of Block's tragic death was another bitter blow. Many tributes to the famous driver was also accompanied by well wishes for the NFL star.

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