2015 was, as usual, an exceptionally busy year for HHIC, Ken Block. A season that saw him compete in the full Global Rallycross Championship (which he led in the points standings for the first 10 of 12 rounds and included three 1st place finishes and two other podiums), as well as competing in a handful of stage rally events, including two down in New Zealand (where Block brought home a 1st overall finish at Rally Whangarei). Additionally Block competed at summer X Games in Austin, TX, as well as at the Gymkhana GRID finale in Santa Pod, U.K.
To add to a diverse race program, Block also partook in a lot of marketing initiatives as well. Block helped headline the Clarkson Hammond and May LIVE! shows that took place in Johannesburg, S.A., he helped Need for Speed launch their latest game, he debuted a brand new car (his Gymkhana-focused Ford MkII Escort), he helped unveil the all-new, all wheel-drive, Ford Focus RS for Ford at their international launch event in Cologne, Germany—as well as putting it through the paces up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for Ford alongside his Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR from Gymkhana SEVEN.
Two separate magazines took notice of Block’s over-the-top and insane schedule and offered up acknowledgement for his impacts as an ambassador and advocate for car culture in 2015. First up, Block made Motortrend’s annual “Power List,” for 2015, clocking in at number 32 (up from 47 last year). Motortrend had this to say about Block:
“Block’s driving abilities are insane. But his impact on popular culture is the reason he’s here. Whether in his Gymkhana 850-hp all-wheel-drive ’65 Ford Mustang or during Global Rally Cross, this drifter has found his home as a Ford spokesman and YouTube sensation. His videos garner tens of millions of views. He recently partnered with Ford to help create the Focus RS. All of his skills are on display in a Ford-produced documentary about the car and Block. More important, he connects with a young audience that carmakers around the globe have had a tough time reaching. Block makes that as easy as doing donuts at a donut shop.” (Article here: http://www.motortrend.com/news/2016-power-list-and-the-person-of-the-year/)
Next up, Block took top honors from Autoweek to kick off 2016, leading the pack in their inaugural awards issue. Block was bestowed with their “Car Culture” award. They put it best by saying; “No one has done more to make car culture relevant to people young and old over the past decade.” And, while being exceptionally high praise, is also true. (Article here: http://autoweek.com/article/autoweek-awards/ken-block-2016-autoweek-car-culture-award)
“I’m pleased and blown away by the praise from both outlets in the last few months,” said Block. “I don’t wake up in the morning and set out to earn awards, I wake up and I look at how I can not only go and enjoy myself by being competitive on the track, but also how I can go and find unique, interesting and fun ways to play with my racecars. At the end of the day, we all got into this because we loved cars and we loved having fun with cars. Sometimes that means doing cool stuff off track in a non-competitive way, potentially very sideways and generating a lot of tire smoke. Ha! But it’s awesome to be recognized for being able to mix my personal goals with those of my partners, that feels really good.”
Block isn’t a stranger to receiving awards for his work on and off the track. He’s previously received multiple Golden Pencil awards for his Gymkhana series of viral videos, an “Automotive Inspiration” award from The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles for his contributions to car culture and has even landed “Most Thrilling Driver” awards (2) from the head of the Goodwood Estate, Lord March, in the U.K. during his appearances at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, along with a 40 Under 40 Award from Fortune Magazine earlier in his business career, etc.