TMZ Sports released the news on January 2nd, 2023 that rally racing champion, drift car icon, and automotive pioneer Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident in Utah.

This news dealt a major blow to the automotive community. Ken Block has inspired a nation/generation of car culture. You’ve undoubtedly seen his videos, his driving, his cars, and his brands – from Hoonigan to DC Shoes. And while you may not know Ken personally, it feels like you do. Receiving the news of his loss… is personal.

Many race fans reflect back to September 15th 2007…

When another king of rally, Colin McCrae, died in a helicopter crash in Scotland. Formula One fans received a devastating blow in 1994, not once but twice, when two drivers were killed during the same race weekend at Imola – Roland Ratzenberger and the 3-time world champion Ayrton Senna. These drivers, and many others throughout the history of motorsport, have brought so many people a plethora of intense emotions – that simply cannot be expressed by words to those fans who followed their careers so closely. So it begs the question… Why? Why do we follow these drivers so closely? Why do we learn so much about them, and invest so much emotion into them? And why do we create an almost unconscious loyalty towards everything about them: The team they race for, the make of car they drive, the brands that sponsor them, and so on.

Is it because they’re so incredibly talented? Masters of their craft? The few who have beat the odds & pulled off an absolute dream career? Yeah – of course. But it’s also because they’ve inspired & motivated the hell out of us! And being a fan is how we give back.

The reality is – these drivers took their various forms of motorsport, and pushed them to the absolute edge.

Colin McCrae changed the game in rally racing forever by his sheer will to keep going… no matter what. Ayrton Senna took Formula One to new heights, and redefined the meaning of precision driving at the top level. And Ken Block – he created a beautiful marriage of driver skill & unorthodox design… with a healthy supply of mad-man engineering. He created vehicles that pushed the limits of what can be done, and showcased the beautiful, awe-inspiring balance of man-&-machine together for the world to see. There are only a small number of names who’ve shaped Motorsports to this degree. And they are legends. Their stories, videos, accomplishments, interviews, smiles, outtakes, etc… will be watched, discussed, smiled upon, and shared with the world for generations to come.

Racing drivers are such a vital part of automotive culture.

Their aura & character inspires the next generation and carries the sport forward. To lose a legend so tragically – is something we always know can happen. However, rarely is the community ready for it. So with that, we press on. The loyal fans will mourn, the community will discuss in shock, and new fans will even emerge after all the reflection on Ken Block’s accomplishments and the celebration of his life. But what’s crucial – is that the fans continue to wrench in their garage, build their cars, live vibrantly (as Ken did), inspire the youngsters around them (as Ken did), and teach this absolutely absurd passion that makes legends like Ken Block… so legendary.