Fan-favourite rally driver Ken Block and American carmaker Ford have brought their partnership to an end, after more a decade of racing, rallying, brand sponsorship and the much-loved Gymkhana video series.
The 11-year exclusive partnership has centred around Block's motorsport career, with Ford working with the American driver's Hoonigan Racing Division team to deliver 19 race wins, 17 podiums and two X Games medals through his participation in the World Rally Championship, Rally America, the World Rallycross Championship and more.
Of greater significance to internet car enthusiasts is Block's Gymkhana drift-heavy YouTube series, with eight of the ten Block has starred in featuring Ford vehicles – ranging from Fiesta and Focus-based rally cars, to the wild Hoonicorn and Hoonitruck – and combined racking up more than 500 million views.
Along the way, Block's Hoonigan outfit and Ford have developed a plethora of tyre-frying drift, rally and 'hoon' cars, including the aforementioned Hoonicorn and Hoonitruck, and a pair of rally-bred Escorts of the 1970s and 1990s.
Above: Ken Block's Ford Focus RS RX in 2016's Gymkhana 9.
"It’s simply been a dream come true to work with the company that built the truck that my Dad drove when I was a teenager," said Block.
"I’m super appreciative to Ford for the support over the years, but I am also looking forward to what an unrestricted 2021 holds, and the ability to spread my wings a bit and play with a lot of other toys."
In a statement, Ford Performance added: "All of us at Ford are very grateful for Ken Block and his bringing the thrill of Ford Performance vehicles to a whole new generation of car buyers.
"He did it in ways that were uniquely Ken – with fun, energetic and extraordinary driving exhibitions that were unmatched in the automotive world, along with important victories and performances in rally and rallycross worldwide."
It's unclear what Block's future holds, with many online commenters tipping a return to manufacturer backing with Subaru, with which Block raced prior to the start of his partnership with Ford in 2010.