Ken Block was to have raced his ‘Hoonipigasus’ – a unique mid-engine, 1,400 bhp Porsche SVRSR – up Pikes Peak this year with the aim of setting a new record in the famous hillclimb. But Ken died in a snowmobile accident in January, a tragic loss to fans who loved his extreme driving stunts.
A tribute to Ken Block
Even if Ken Block couldn’t be there, he would have been in spirit to watch Lia, his 16-year old daughter, drive the Hoonipigasus in the event as a tribute to her father. Though the 1,000-kg car was obviously very powerful and Lia is also a rally driver, her run was not a timed one and was just to fulfil her Dad’s mission.
Her run took her along the 19.99 km course with 156 turns and going from 1,440 metres above sea level at the start, to 4,300 metres at the finishing line. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is considered America’s most dangerous race with 43 lives lost since it started in 1916. Since last year, motorcycles have been banned due to the very high speeds they reach and the extremely high risks of accidents.
While there were lots of cheers for the many participants, the crowd cheered loudly specially for Lia as she crossed the finish line, with tears following for some as the memory of Ken Block came to mind.
Ken Block’s wife also took part
Incidentally, Lucy Block, the late driver’s wife, also took part in the Pikes Peak event this year in an electric buggy. Apart from racing in memory of her husband, she also wanted to increase awareness for the 43 Institute, an organisation which helps those interested in motorsport but can’t afford to get into it.