Previous Baja winner Alan Ampudia joins driver lineup.
Hoonigan impresario Ken Block is off to the Baja 1000 later this year. He already picked one co-driver for the event, 16-year-old Jax Redline, and now has named his second. Alan Ampudia will take the wheel of Block's new truck during this year's 900-mile race (we know it's called the 1000, but sometimes it's a point-to-point race from Ensenada, Mexico to La Paz, and other times its a loop race starting and ending near Ensenada). Ampudia won the Baja 1000 overall in 2019. He doesn't outright guarantee a win, but he certainly implies it.
Block also revealed his wild-looking trophy truck for the event, an 1,100-hp Geiser Bros G6. It features the Hoonigan team's latest livery from Mexican artist Ricardo Gonzalez called "It's a Living." The purple and blue splash paint scheme also adorns his Subaru WRX rally car - he's no longer with Ford - and his Porsche safari-style car he's racing in the 2021 East African Safari Classic Rally.
"It's exciting to see the merging of all these worlds," said Block. "Bringing together a guy from rally like me with two amazingly talented trophy truck racers and the work of an artist like Ricardo with this truck from one of the greatest builders in the world is an incredible moment."
New co-driver Ampudia has racing in his blood, particularly desert racing. His father raced Baja in the '80s and created the Papas & Beers name, a famous club with two locations in Mexico (and the name of his race team). Alan started on dirt bikes when he was just 4 years old. He hurt himself at about 14 and then transitioned into cars. He raced short track before getting into desert racing. The Hoonigan team joined the Ampudia at the family club in Ensenada to unveil the new trophy truck.
That truck, the newest version from Geiser Bros, features a three-speed paddle shift transmission, a drink button for the driver and even air conditioning to go along with the air purification system. Block says that he's been asking for air conditioning in his race cars for years, and finally got it. He takes a few mini hot laps on the sand, sans helmet and seatbelt, while also yelling, "don't try this at home!"
Block has a big year ahead of him. In addition to the East African Rally, he'll be training for the Baja at the 550-mile Vegas to Reno Race, as well as rally racing in his Subaru in ARA series. We'll be following along.