Lia Block to drive ‘Hoonipigasus’ at Pikes Peak
Lia Block, daughter of the late Ken Block, will drive the “Hoonipigasus” Porsche at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.
Ken Block was scheduled to drive the 1,400 horsepower, four-wheel-drive machine at last year’s hillclimb, which would have been his first start in the event since 2005. Unfortunately, engine failure in the lead-up curtailed the plans, and with Block’s death in January, hopes of a competitive run for the car were all but ended.
However, Lia, who at 16 is oldest of the rally driver’s three children, will take the car up the mountain in a non-competitive ‘tribute run’ in June, and Hoonigan – the automotive lifestyle clothing and media brand started by her father – has hinted that a future entry into the famous hillclimb event could be on the cards.
“The tribute run will not be timed, as Lia admits that it will take a substantial amount of training to pilot a race car of that caliber up one of the world’s most intimidating hill climb races – something she aims to accomplish in the future,” said Hoonigan in a statement. “However, Lia’s goal for this year is to honor her father Ken Block’s vision of taking the Hoonipigasus to the top of Pikes Peak; while giving the fans the sights and sounds of the ultimate Porsche 911 racecar build.”
The Hoonipigasus – an amalgamation of Block’s Hoonigan brand, Mobil 1’s Pegasus motif, and the 1971 Porsche 917/20 “pink pig” that raced at Le Mans and provides the inspiration for the car’s livery – reportedly started life as a 1966 Porsche 912 and was built in collaboration with Porsche specialists BBi Autosport, which has been behind other Porsches that have raced at Pikes Peak in the past.
As well as the substantial ramp-up in power for the 911-derived four-liter twin-turbo flat-six – which is mid-mounted – and a drop in weight to just 1,000 kg thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber, the car also has suspension that is adjusted in real-time by GPS using data from previous Pikes Peak runs.
Ahead of the Pikes Peak appearance, the Hoonipigasus will be on display this Sunday at the Air | Water event at Luftgekuhlt 9 in Vallejo, CA, on Sunday, April 30.
Lia, meanwhile, has been carrying on her father’s legacy in motorsport with occasional appearances in Nitro Rallycross’ side-by-side class, and by contesting stage rallies in the U.S.
Last weekend she finished first in the Open 2-wheel-drive class and seventh overall at the Olympus Rally, driving a Subaru BRZ alongside Rhiannon Gelsomino. Her mother Lucy has also continued to compete in rallies, and finished fourth at Olympus in the Limited 4-wheel-drive class (10th overall) in a Ford Fiesta Rally3 alongside Alex Gelsomino, who was Ken Block’s co-driver for nearly two decades.