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Why Ken Block mattered so much to car fans everywhere

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Motorsport legend Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident in Utah on 2 January 2023.
Motorsport legend Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident in Utah on 2 January 2023.

January is textured with optimism for the year ahead. But often also tinged with tragedy. And for global car fans, Ken Block's death has been a telling case of the latter.

snowmobile accident claimed arguably the world's most famous professional driver to never win an FIA championship race or World Championship. What Block did, was redefine the spectacle of motorsport. He challenged the traditional legacy of timing sheets, wins and points standings.

Block was very much a product of his environment and era. For decades, California has been ground zero for extreme sports and media innovation. Surfing. Mountain biking. Snowboarding. Skating. And Hollywood. It's a dreamy combination, and Ken Block was born into the surging Californian outdoor and urban activity scene of the late 1960s.

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