Watch A Deep Dive Into Why Ken Block's Pikes Peak Porsche 911 Failed

Motorsport / Comments

Here's everything you want to know about the Hoonipigasus and its failed Pikes Peak attempt.

Are you a serious car nerd? Do you get excited when automotive talk turns to aerodynamics, chassis engineering, suspension setups, and the quality of the welding on an aftermarket radiator?

We want to apologize because we're about to distract you from your work for 50 minutes because Hoonigan recently released an in-depth look at Ken Block's Porsche 911-based Hoonipigasus.

As you might know, the car was built to take on the 100th running of Pikes Peak, but due to a dropped valve, the Hoonipigasus had to retire early. As a consolation prize for not seeing Kenny from the block hoon up the mountain, Hoonigan gave the world this video as a consolation prize.

Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube

The video takes us back to 116 days before the race and the naked spine of the Hoonipigasus. We also see all the people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. While the Hoonipigasus is closely tied to Ken Block, this Pikes Peak run was a massive effort involving loads of people.

The idea started at Pikes Peak 2020, where the team came up with a no holds barred car meant to go for the overall victory, but nobody to pay for it. Around the same time, Block joined the VAG group, including Porsche. Block also has some history with Pikes Peak and is a fan of rally-inspired 911s. Although this was his first time (technically) competing in the event, he became interested in rallying by watching TV coverage of Pikes Peak, which set him on his career path as a professional hooner.

The first step was to find a donor car, and you would not believe the state of the thing when they found it.

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Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube

We don't want to dive too deep into the video and spoil it for you, so we'll provide a few key facts to tide you over until you can watch it. Building the chassis required more than 300 feet of tubing. It was completed in 14 days. It took us longer to install an offset license plate holder on a Miata.

The body panels were designed in the states to replicate a classic Porsche 911. The designs were then sent to Sweden to be brought to life in carbon fiber. Inspiration for the aerodynamic components came from previous Pikes Peak builds.

Pikes Peak requires a specific aerodynamic design. The Hoonipigasus produces 4,000 pounds of downforce at sea level at 164 mph, but that's irrelevant. The average speed at PP is 80 to 90 mph, and the air is roughly 40% thinner. Because the air is so much thinner, the car also requires additional cooling. It's one of the main reasons, so many people enter Teslas these days: they're inherently better at altitude.

Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube

There's also a whole segment dedicated to the driveshaft tunnel, which served as Ken Block's armrest. The team had to run the driveshaft from the rear-mounted gearbox, over the engine, through the cockpit, to the front differential.

Unlike a traditional 911, the Hoonipigasus is mid-engined. The engine started life as a 2016 GT3R race car engine, but it's equipped with two one-off Garret motorsport turbochargers specially built for this car.

Hoonigan worked very closely with Porsche's endurance racing department and chose to stick as closely as possible to the parameters set by Weissach. Still, the engine was this car's downfall, and it's tough to watch the behind-the-scenes footage of the team realizing the Hoonipigasus was only running on five cylinders.

The team would have needed a new head, piston, and turbocharger to get it running. Luckily, Garret made extras. Unfortunately, they saw the scarring on the cylinder and two dents in the bore. It was unfixable.

The good news is the Hoonipigasus will return for Pikes Peak 2023, stronger and better. And with a backup engine.

Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube
Hoonigan/YouTube

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