After more than a decade of racing, gymkhana videos and unique drift builds, Ken Block’s partnership with Ford is coming to an end.
Ken Block, the 53-year-old rally driver who became the Gymkhana driftmaster, has announced that he and Ford will separate in 2021. The driver is now a “free agent,” according to Hoonigan.
“It was just a dream come true to work with the company that built the truck my dad drove when I was a teenager,” Block said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to Ford for their support over the years, but I also look forward to what an unrestricted 2021 has in store and the ability to spread my wings a little and play with lots of other toys.
Block signed with Ford in 2010. In addition to his specific drift racing cars, he raced with an Escort Cosworth rally car, as well as a handful of Fiesta and Focus racing cars. They all played a major role in their Gymkhana video series.
“Working with Ford over the past decade has been amazing,” Block said. “From running around the world, from racking up half a billion views from Gymkhana Three to Gymkhana Ten, to creating the Emmy-nominated series, The Gymkhana Files for Amazon Prime – In addition to building A Ford fleet comprising the iconic AWD Mustang Hoonicorn and F-150 Hoonitruck – has been a great partnership. ”
During his time at Ford, Block earned 19 race wins, 17 more podiums, two X Games medals and the last points in the World Rally Championship – the first scored for the brand by an American driver, according to Hoonigan.
“At Ford, we are all very grateful to Ken Block and for bringing the excitement of Ford Performance vehicles to a new generation of car buyers,” Ford Performance said in a statement on Twitter. “He did it in a way that was uniquely Ken – with fun, energetic and extraordinary driving demonstrations that were unmatched in the automotive world, as well as major wins and performances in rally and rallycross across. the world.”
Prior to his partnership with Ford, Block spent five years driving Subaru WRX STIs, starting his professional rally career in 2005 with Vermont SportsCar, maker of Subaru’s official rally cars.
Now that Block is free to lead whatever he wants, it will be interesting to see where he (and his Hoonigan team) go next. A Monster Toyota GR Yaris Gymkhana car, maybe? We can only pray.
Ken Block and Ford end their exclusive 10-year partnership, leaving Block a free agent to seek deals with other automakers, Block and Ford Performance, confirmed on Friday.
“Working with Ford over the past decade has been amazing,” Block said in a statement posted on his Hoonigan Racing Division website. “I am very grateful to Ford for their support over the years, but I also look forward to what an unrestricted 2021 has in store and the ability to spread my wings a bit and play with many other toys.”
“At Ford, we are all very grateful to Ken Block and for bringing the excitement of Ford Performance vehicles to a new generation of car buyers,” Ford Performance said in a statement posted on Twitter. “He did it in a way that’s unique to Ken – with fun, energetic and extraordinary driving displays that were unmatched in the automotive world, as well as important wins and performances in rally and RallyCross. worldwide.”
Block’s partnership with Ford covered motorsports and custom vehicle building for its Gymkhana video series. This has led to cars such as the 1,400-horsepower four-wheel-drive Mustang “Hoonicorn”, the 1977 Ford F-150 “Hoonitruck” and even a Ford Escort RS Cosworth, all of which appeared in several Gymkhana videos starting with Gymkhana. Three.
The partnership also included rally and rallycross campaigns, with 19 wins, 17 more podiums and two X Games medals. More recently, Block switched to the fully electric Projekt E rallycross series with a Ford Fiesta ERX race car.
Block was not always beholden to Ford. He drove Subaru WRX STI rally cars in Gymkhana’s first two videos, and the builder recently returned to the series for Gymkhana 11, with Subaru racing driver Travis Pastrana replacing Block.