I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying: Ken Block’s Daughter Runs His Final Car Up Pike’s Peak in Touching Tribute
Imagine for a minute that you’re Lia Block: Your father has been teaching you to drive competitively since before you had your license. Under his guidance, you competed in your first rally race at just 11 years old. Then the winter you’re 16, he leaves his Utah ranch to go for a snowmobile ride. And he never comes home.
Many of us fans felt we’d lost an idol, and one of motorsports‘ greatest ambassadors, with the January 2023 death of Ken Block. But his only daughter, Lia, lost much more than that. Honestly, if she’d decided to never set a tire on a racecourse again, not a soul would have blamed her.
Lia’s not like most people. She’s a Block. And she obviously possesses all the talent and courage you’d expect. She decided to get right behind the wheel again, and in a big way. Even though she suspected how heartbreaking it would be.
Before Ken Block’s death, he had been building something big. One-thousand, four-hundred horsepower big. He designed a custom mid-engine, AWD, twin-turbo vintage Porsche 911 for his return to the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb competition. Unfortunately, Hoonigan racing wasn’t able to get the car’s kinks worked out before the 2022 hill climb, so Block planned to run it in June 2023. But he never had the chance.
Without missing a beat, Lia asked to run her dad’s final car on Pike’s Peak in 2023. Lia and Hoonigan Racing partnered with the Porsche’s original sponsor–Mobil 1–to train in the car and bring it to the event for a special tribute run. The team captured everything in a video that, to be blunt, brought me closer to tears than any movie since Toy Story 3. (Don’t laugh, Woody and Buzz forever!).
The behind-the-scenes film hits hard from the beginning and doesn’t let up. [Spoiler Alert] Lia’s first day in the Hoonipigasus (Yup, Block named the Porsche as a tribute to 1971’s “Pink Pig”) she climbs in the car to familiarize herself with the controls and asks her mom, “Laps? Can we go?” Lucy Block tells her daughter, “Be nice to me or you can’t go.” Then out of sight of her daughter, she begins to tear up.
[More spoilers] During the tribute run, the final run of the 2023 Pike’s Peak Hill Climb, the camera cuts between Lia driving the Porsche, and Ken Block’s final run of Pike’s Peak. Lia reaches the summit and stops under the checkered flag. She cuts the engine, but sits in the car a minute. It is Lucy who dettaches from the crowd and opens the car door. Through tears, she asks Lia, “Hey babe, we did it. Are you ready to get out?” Lia wordlessly shakes her head, then takes a long breath.
At the beginning of the run, the crowd may have been cheering for the memory of Ken Block. But when Lia finally climbs out of the car, they’re cheering for her.
After the hill climb, Lia Block signed on to compete in the “Extreme E” electric rally racing series her father pioneered. She also jumped into the American Rally Association’s 2WD class, becoming the youngest champion in history. Her performance secured her a spot in Formula 1’s prestigious Williams Driver Academy. At this rate, it won’t be long before Lia’s winning races even her father never entered.
See the entire Pike’s Peak tribute run video below: