2021 is proving to be wide open for rally driver and gymkhana guru Ken Block. After 11 years of driving a plethora of Blue Oval performance machines – including arguably the most bonkers Ford Mustang ever built – Block and Ford's official relationship has come to an end.
In a press release, Hoonigan Racing announced that Block is now a "free agent" as of January 2021. Details of the parting aren't known, though Block says it was an amicable separation. A friendly video from Ford Performance with a fond farewell by Ford CEO Jim Farley supports the smooth separation.
However, it appears Block will lose the fire-breathing 1965 Mustang Hoonicorn in the divorce. That's gotta hurt, but in a video Block posted to Facebook, we still see the Mustang in his garage along with several other notable vehicles of past gymkhana videos. Perhaps the Blue Oval tow truck simply hasn't arrived yet?
“Working with Ford over the past decade has been awesome,” said Block in a statement. “From racing all over the world, to accumulating a half-billion views from Gymkhana THREE to Gymkhana TEN, to creating the Emmy nominated series The Gymkhana Files for Amazon Prime - along with building a fleet of Fords including the iconic AWD Mustang Hoonicorn and F-150 Hoonitruck - it’s been a great partnership."
Gallery: Hoonicorn V2
While his future driving iconic Ford-branded machines like the Hoonicorn and the Hoonitruck is unclear, it seems Block is keen to climb behind the wheel of new vehicles. Fans will recall that, before Ford came on-board, Block piloted Subarus both in stage rally and for the first two gymkhana videos. In fact, in his Facebook video, the WRX STI from Gymkhana 2 is clearly seen in the background, just as he mentions announcing 2021 plans coming "quite soon." Mere coincidence, or is this a not-so-subtle hint of a return to Subaru?
Given Block's undeniable marketing power, we suspect he's been getting a blizzard of calls and emails from companies keen to tap the Hoonigan brand. Could a crazy-custom Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye replace the Hoonicorn? Might a future Toyota GR Corolla with a wild body wrap become a new gymkhana car? Here's an interesting thought – what kind of purpose-built, tyre-shredding monstrosity could Elon Musk come up with? Ken Block going silent with a Tesla rally car might seem insane, but given the current state of affairs as of late, insane isn't off the table.
We'll say this much. Block stepped into the world of stage rally at an age most drivers retire, and he's dropped the jaws of millions with his skill behind the wheel from the WRC to rallycross and gymkhana. Whatever the future holds for Block and his hoonigans, we suspect it will be wild. Still, we're game for some discussion here. Any thoughts on what cars Block should step into?
KEN BLOCK BECOMES FREE AGENT AFTER 11 RENOWNED YEARS WITH FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Park City, UT / [January 8th, 2021]: Ken Block and Ford Motor Company’s exclusive partnership has brought in some real hardware over the past decade in rally and rallycross. 19 race wins plus 17 other podium finishes, 2 X Games medals, well over a billion video views across Block’s social media platforms, and the first ever World Rally Championship points scored for the brand by an American driver. As of January 2021, that exclusivity comes to an end, with Block becoming a free agent. And that means his options behind the wheel are now wide open.
“Working with Ford over the past decade has been awesome,” says Ken Block. “From racing all over the world, to accumulating a half billion views from Gymkhana THREE to Gymkhana TEN, to creating the Emmy nominated series The Gymkhana Files for Amazon Prime - along with building a fleet of Fords including the iconic AWD Mustang Hoonicorn and F-150 Hoonitruck - it’s been a great partnership. It’s simply been a dream come true to work with the company that built the truck that my Dad drove when I was a teenager. I’m super appreciative to Ford for the support over the years, but I am also looking forward to what an unrestricted 2021 holds, and the ability to spread my wings a bit and play with a lot of other toys.”
2020 was a big year for Block and his Ford vehicles. He took the overall win at Rally Barbados in a WRC2 Ford Fiesta, won his class (and 3rd overall) at Rally Legend in San Marino in his Ford Escort Cossie V2, and also won the first ever Projekt E race of the FIA World RallyCross Championship in Holjes, Sweden, in a Ford Fiesta. Along with winning races, Block and Hoonigan launched the all-new viral video series: Hoonicorn Vs The World. Spanning 11 episodes, the series features Ken racing his 1965 Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn against a variety of wild vehicles including a McLaren Senna and the World’s Fastest Donk. The series has been viewed over 34 million times since its launch in late November.
What does the next chapter have in store? Ken Block and Hoonigan Racing Division will be announcing new partnerships very soon. In the meantime, enjoy this video of Ken’s favorite Ford – the 1,400 horsepower AWD Mustang Hoonicorn V2 – get taken on its “last ride”: https://youtu.be/C7Tl7Zn-KRE