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TG’s celebrity driving tests: Ken Block

AGE: 45 OCCUPATION: Rally driver NATIONALITY: American

What was your first car?


A MkII Volkswagen Golf GTI 16-valve. I definitely yanked on the handbrake a lot. And potentially jumped it…

And your best car?

I’ve had a lot of different cars: from a Mercedes 190E, to a Ford Focus RS and a Bentley Continental GT. But my favourite car is the Ford F-150 Raptor as I can drive it round like my rally car. It’s the best daily driver I’ve ever had.

What about your worst car?

A Toyota Cargo van. It was boxy, slow and boring.

What’s the fastest you’ve driven?

190mph. I’m not a speed guy. I mean, I appreciate it and like it, but I’m a rally driver. I like cornering, sliding and jumping.

How clean is your licence?

Quite clean. Mainly because I get so much from racing and Gymkhana. After that, all my aggression is out. So, when I’m on the street, I’m quite docile. But, when I was 17, I did get arrested for jumping my car.

Ever had a crash?

On the street? Only one or two way back in the Eighties. But I’ve had a few when rallying. The worst being one in Portugal on the WRC shakedown, I went wide on a corner and into a bush where there was a hidden rock. I hit it and rolled four-and-a-half times. That was a four-and-a-half g crash.

Can you drift?

Yes, I can drift. I’m an AWD specialist, but I can drift in rear-wheel-drive cars too - especially my 1978 MkII Escort.

What’s understeer?

It’s the opposite of oversteer.

Ever changed an oil filter?

Yes I have, but I haven’t done it in about 20 years.

Which country makes the best cars?

I grew up in a Ford household, and we’ve always had Fords. So I’d have to say the USA.

Have you owned an Alfa Romeo?

I’ve never had the opportunity.

First car: VW Golf GTI MkII 16v
Best car: Ford F-150 Raptor
Worst car: Toyota Cargo
Slidey car: Ford Escort MkII

This article was originally published in Top Gear magazine


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