Birth Date: 11/21/1967
Resides: Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Weight: 185 lbs.
Car: Ford Focus RS (WRC), Ford Fiesta (Rally America)
Sponsors: Monster Energy, Ford, DC, Castrol Edge, DiRT2, Pirelli
Co-Driver: Alessandro Gelsomino
Ken Block has been a car enthusiast for as long as he can remember and has been a fan of rally racing since he was young. Ken drove like a rally fanatic since he first learned to drive by “borrowing” his parents’ cars, jumping and sliding them around. When Ken got older he bought a VW GTI and drifted it around in the snow while he lived in the mountains as a snowboard bum.
When DC-sponsored freestyle motocross superstar Travis Pastrana decided to try his hand at rally racing, Ken ensured DC’s support of his rally racing efforts. In doing so Ken seized the opportunity to fulfill his own personal dream and passion for rally racing, and began training for the professional circuit.
In the 2005 rally season, Ken gave Travis and the rest of the rally circuit some unexpected competition. Block’s rigorous rally training with Vermont SportsCar ensured strong finishes at nearly every rally he entered.
With solid finishes throughout the season, including five top-5 results, Ken’s first year on the Rally America National Championship proved to be incredible. He completed the season 3rd in Group N (3rd only to the current US champion Pat Richard and former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist) and fourth overall. He also earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, which is not bad for someone who first stepped into a rally car in October 2004, and whose first national race was in January 2005.
For 2006, Ken Block and DC rally teammate Travis Pastrana landed a new sponsorship deal with Subaru that earned them the title “Subaru Rally Team USA.” Ken’s continued to race exceptionally well this season in his 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, which was prepared by Vermont SportsCar.
At X Games 12 in 2006, Rally Racing was added as the event’s newest sporting category. Ken kicked off his first experience as an X Games competitor by taking the Bronze medal. Entering the Rally Racing finals at X Games, Ken sat just one second ahead of 4th place and needed to put together a solid stage time if he wanted to reach the podium. Ken held down his 3rd place position that Saturday by smoothly drifting his Subaru across the asphalt sections and handling the dirt track with ease, while still putting on a good show by throwing out massive dirt roosts inside the Home Depot Center. Having first set foot in a rally car only two-years prior to the event, Ken proved his passion could lead to success, taking home the Bronze.
He finished off the rest of 2006 by taking 2nd overall in the Rally America National Championship… a banner year for Ken.
In 2007 the support from Subaru Rally Team USA continued, and Ken had another great year. He took the silver medal at X Games 13, and 3rd overall in the Rally America National Championship.
Between all the official competitive rally events, Ken has also found some time to have some fun with his rally car. In 2007 he jumped his car 171 feet for the Discovery Channel show Stunt Junkies. “…they were focusing a whole episode around me figuring out how to jump the rally car a long distance. That sounded fun, so I worked out some simple physics calculations of speed, angle and distance, applied them to a motocross jump, and ended up jumping the car 171 feet, with the max height about 25 feet off the ground.” Check out the footage in the video section on this site.
The fun continued in New Zealand at a snowboarding park called Snow Park.
There, he joined the DC snowboard team for a park session consisting of Subaru-assisted jibbing, toe-ats, and uphill 540s. After getting their fill of that, the team and Ken started hitting kickers side by side. The fruits of the unprecedented sessions: amazing memories, the cover of the December 2007 issue of Snowboarder Magazine, and some amazing footage to close out the MTN.LAB 1.5 DVD. He even cracked his L2 vertebrae and destroyed his rally car ($50 G’s worth) after landing on the flats the final day.
Despite the injury and the totaled machine, it was also another way for Ken and his team riders to share mutual passions—snowboarding and rally car driving—and have a great time in the process! “In all the experiences I've ever had, it truly was one of the most fun things I've ever done,” Ken said. This footage, three pieces, also appears in the video section on this site.
Most recently, Ken joined Travis for another innovative jump session in Utah. “Travis and I together on Subaru Rally Team USA is just an interesting combination of people, especially with our backgrounds and in the things that we’ve done in the past couple years with the Rally car and Motocross. As a team goes, we are probably one of the most dynamic motorsports teams in the world. That’s why I really love the fact of having Travis as a teammate. I came up with that idea of having the car jump with Travis doing the back flip over it just because I thought it would make a really unique photo. It accentuates the two of us together, him from his Moto and FMX background and me from a Moto and Rally background. That photo sort of puts all that together in one shot. I pitched the idea to Travis and Greg Godfrey (of Godfrey Entertainment) for us to get together and do all this… film it, shoot it and just basically have a good time of Travis and I screwing around with our Rally car and dirt bike out in Utah for a couple days. We ended up with a lot of great footage at the Bonneville Salt Flats and then at this jump. The footage when the movie comes out will be very dynamic and shows us having a really good time with combining these two sports together.”
What’s next for Ken Block and his growing Rally career? For 2008 he’s continuing his charge for the National Championship and will be in it to win it at X Games 14 in August. “I want to also get into more international events and see how I do.”
2009 – 2nd Place, New England Forest Rally, Newry, ME
2009 - 1st Place, 100-Acre Wood, Salem, MO
2008 – 2nd Place, Rally America National Championship
2008 – 1st Place, Olympus Rally, Pomeroy, WA
2008 - 1st Place, Lake Superior Performance Rally, Houghton, MI
2008 – Bronze Medal, X Games, Los Angeles, CA, Rally
2008 - 1st Place, 100-Acre Wood, Salem, MO
2007 – 1st Place, 100-Acre Wood, Salem, MO
2007 – 2nd Place, Oregon Trail Rally, Portland, OR
2007 – 3rd Place, New England Forest Rally, Newry, ME
2007 – 2nd Place, Ojibwe Forests Rally, Bemidji, MN
2007 – 1st Place, Rally Colorado, Steamboat Springs, CO
2007 – 2nd Place, Rally America National Championship
2007 – Silver Medal, X Games, Los Angeles, CA, Rally
2006 – Bronze Medal, X Games, Los Angeles, CA, Rally
2006 – 1st Place, 100-Acre Wood, Salem, MO
2006 – 3rd Place, Oregon Trail Rally, Portland, OR
2006 – 1st Place, Lake Superior Performance Rally, Houghton, MI
2006 – 3rd Place, Wild West Rally, Olympia, WA
2006 – 2nd Place, Rally America National Championship