Rally star Ken Block dies in snowmobile accident

Ken Block was one of the most popular racers in the world thanks to his success in auto racing and his embrace of social media. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Rally car icon Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident on Monday. He was 55 years old.

Block’s subsidiary, Hoonigan Industries, announced his death in a social media post. The Californian became one of the most popular racers thanks to his success in auto racing and was a co-founder of the DC Shoe Company.

“Ken was a visionary, pioneer and icon,” the company’s statement read. And most importantly, father and husband. We will miss him incredibly. Please respect the family’s privacy at this time while they are grieving.”

Block was snowboarding in Utah on Monday. Posted screenshots on social media earlier in the day.

In addition to his rally cars, Block has also competed in motocross and skateboarding. He achieved 16 wins in the 60 Rally America starting from 2005-14 and scored five X Games medals. Block finished 3rd, 2nd and 3rd in Rallycross at the X Games from 2006 to 2008. He is also one of only a handful of Americans to score points in the World Rally Championship.

While his success in motorsports was a big reason for his fame, it was his embrace of social media that made him a superstar. Block’s YouTube channel has nearly 2 million subscribers and he has more than 7 million followers on Instagram. The videos from his Gymkhana video series are some of the most popular motorsports videos on the internet.

After ties to Ford and Subaru throughout his career, Block signed a deal with Audi in the fall in a deal designed to help promote the automaker’s electric vehicles. His daughter Leah, 16, is a rally racer herself and competed in her first race at the age of 11. Leah has been racing for her father’s Hoonigan Racing since her career began.

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