Do you remember the term “Drift King” from the 2006 blockbuster “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”? The famous American professional rally driver Ken Block has justified this title for a long time. The partnership between Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing division and Ford Performance broke up in 2021 and caught several eyes. However, the same eyeballs (and a few others) were there on the idea of Hoonigan Racing Division and Pikes Peak-winning Porsche manufacturer BBi Autosport – Porsche SVRSR Hoonipigasus.
With this beast of a car, Ken Block and BBi Autosport aimed to create history in the PPO (Pikes Peak Open) class and record a victory in the 100th edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. However, this time fate was not with Ken Block’s fortunes, and the Porsche SVRSR Hoonipigasus engine blew out even before the qualifying round. After the unfortunate event, Ken Block decided to withdraw from the event and promised to return with the next edition of the event scheduled for 2023. So what went wrong against Ken Block’s strategies ? We discover.
Ken Block’s Hoonipigasus Backstory
To write a chapter in motorsport history, Hoonigan Racing Division and the Porsche experts at BBi Autosport – founder Betim Berisha and driver Tanner Foust – have teamed up to create the Porsche SVRSR Hoonipigasus. Berisha and Porsche had a long association in the past, as he worked for Porsche Motorsports, and this association proved fruitful for the development of Hoonipigasus.
Hoonigan Racing Division and BBi Autosport have begun work on a vintage Porsche 911, which has undergone a heavy re-engineering process. The car features a widebody exterior originally designed by Oil Stain Lab, and the engine has been repositioned from the rear to the middle. To make this car an example of aerodynamics, the expert in fluid dynamics Verus Engineering has engaged.
As a result, the car received excellent modifications such as adjustable fins for aero balance, a bespoke rear diffuser, vortex generators behind the front wheels, a massive V2X rear spoiler and Toyo slick tires. The car also has a complex airflow conditioner similar to F1 cars. The majority of the body panels are made of carbon fiber, giving it an extremely low weight at just 2,205 lbs.
The Hoonipigasus wears a shade of pink, which pays homage to the Porsche 917/20 ‘Pink Pig’ car from Le Mans 1971. Created by Trouble Andrew, a street artist from Canada, this livery features a Pegasus emblem to denote association with Mobil 1. All of these elements led to the car name ‘Hoonipigasus’, which is a mix of Hoonigan, the Pink Pig, and Mobil 1’s Pegasus logo.
The car’s original four-cylinder engine was replaced with a 4.0-liter straight-six engine, which came from a 2017 Porsche GT3 R. The powertrain received heavy modifications, including twin turbochargers and twin 50mm wastegates from Garret Motorsport. It also got three injectors – one direct injection and one two-port injection – per cylinder, Obsidian Motorsport electronic calibration and a bespoke KSV Looms harness. The result of all these changes is a staggering 1,400 hp power output. The engine is mated here to a twin SADEV 6-speed manual gearbox, which transfers power to all four wheels. Apart from the gearbox, SADEV also developed a transfer case and a front differential for this car.
Apart from the engine, the car also features a complete overhaul of its original chassis. Developed by Scarbo Performance, the chassis features dual A-arm pushrod suspension with KW Automotive four-way shock absorbers. The suspension system uses real-time GPS data and telemetry. Stopping power comes from PFC brakes with lightweight forged calipers and lightweight carbon-ceramic rotors. The car’s dynamic prowess is further enhanced by aspects such as the dual Motect ECU, power distribution module from Bosch Motorsport and engine management and electronics package from Obsidian Motorsport Group.
What Went Really Wrong With The Hoonipigasus
During one of the practice sessions before the qualifying round, in the middle of the 12.42 mile mountain road from Pikes Peak, the heavily modified Hoonipigasus’ Porsche racing engine dropped a valve, causing significant damage to the engine block.
In one of his Twitter posts, Ken Block mentioned that this damage was found to be beyond repair, although both teams did their best to repair the engine block. For this task, Ken Block even got fancy parts and a high-tech motorsport team from California flew in for the rescue. Ken Block also said they didn’t have a spare block for the Porsche racing engine, which might have otherwise made the rescue operation a bit easier. All attempts were in vain, as a result of which Hoonigan Racing Division and BBi Autosport missed the participation in the qualifying round.
Ken Block and Hoonipigasus’ journey ended in the 2022 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb racing event. However, the two are now eyeing a return in the 2023 edition of the event. For that, we just hope that Hoonipigasus makes a big comeback in an even more fiery avatar.