Things have gone quite pear-shaped for Ken Block, BBI Autosport, Porsche, and Mobil 1 at the inaugural run-in of Hoonigan’s “Hoonipigasus”. This pink monstrosity was aiming for the overall record at Pikes Peak with the extreme sports icon at the wheel, but didn’t even make it to the start of the race. The goal for the car was to absolutely dominate the mountain with 1400 horsepower worth of ground-pounding Porsche, but ultimately the engine failed as soon as it was pressed into service. That might have something to do with the car’s extremely truncated turnaround, as it was just unveiled a few weeks ago, and the engine hadn’t even been built for the car at that point. Slapping it together and shoving boost into it has proved a quite poor idea. During practice, before qualifying even began, the engine dropped a valve and destroyed itself. Ken’s day was done, and the car was retired. The team couldn’t put together a new engine in time for qualifying, so that’s that. Pack up and head home.
In the photo above you can actually see the engine starting to come apart. That kind of explosion and heat just simply should not be coming out of the exhaust pipes. That’s molten metal you’re looking at!
During the single practice run that the Hoonipigasus got to run during Tuesday’s efforts, it ran a truly unimpressive 2:57.030 time in the mountain’s middle section. By comparison, that’s about ten seconds slower than Robb Holland ran in his brand new Porsche GT4 RS street car, which has about one third the horsepower and no turbos. Meanwhile the faster turbocharged Porsches, like David Donohue’s GT2 RS Clubsport, and Jeff Zwart’s modern 935 are both running times deep into the 2:30s. While I have no doubt the pink Hoonigan machine could have run faster if it were sorted, we’ll have to wait until next year to find out.
Block has confirmed already that he’ll be back for the 101st running of the hillclimb in 2023, and hopefully a year of development with BBI Autosport will get it sorted.