Hooniverse… Goes to Hoonigan

 Let us preface this story for those who are not aware of Ken Block. YouTube searches for Gymkhana and Internet searches for anything DC Shoe related will more that suffice for what he is about. We all wish that we could drive exactly how we do in video games and Ken has brought that to the forefront in modern car culture.

 Being a recent Ford ST owner, I was invited to attend the ST Octane Academy with the reception being held at the Hoonigan Racing Division headquarters just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. As your “friend and humble narrator” (insert A Clockwork Orange reference here) let us dive into what makes this place so special.

 Not open to the public, the Hoonigan Racing Division is the main site for Ken’s lifestyle brand and racing division. Clearly designed by someone with a degree in Industrial Design, the warehouse is a plethora of shipping containers painted brightly in the Monster sponsored colors of bright green and blue. Various pieces of automotive artwork are displayed all throughout the compound comprising of damaged body panels and Fifteen52 wheels from the Gymkhana videos along with plenty of shredded tires.

 A grown kids paradise turned into a business center is the best way of describing the building. Most impressive is the conference room with a full wall photograph of the interior of Ken’s Rally Car in which everybody appears to be in the mindset of what the end game is.  The media center in which the Gymkhana videos are viewed and edited also showcased all of the Hoonigan lifestyle branded gear from t-shirts, DC driving shoes, Spy sunglasses and RC cars all available from the Hoonigan website. After a quick tour of the compound and an obligatory photo at Ken’s desk, we retreated to the garage area for the dinner reception. 

 Due to developmental testing we were unable to take any photos inside the garage area so my memory describing it will have to suffice. The WRC and recent Gymkhana car were there as well as the Monster sponsored car carrier. Unfortunately, the Ford Raptor Trax was not present, which was something I was looking forward to see. Still, the presence of the race cars quelled my interest.

 I was very impressed with the size and layout of the garage, both spacious and well functional, as you would expect with most professional teams. Climbing up the stairs to the upper level revealed something more impressive. Tools always seem to amaze me, the engineering of them to be beautiful and functional. A wall of Snap On toolboxes surrounded the entire back areas where the cars are parked and worked on. I can only imagine the cost and the contents of the boxes, which seemed to occupy my mind for about 10 minutes.

 The dinner following was well catered and an introduction to the Miller Motorsports Lead Instructor Mark revealed what we would be participating in the following day at the ST Octane Academy. Needless to say I was excited and quite ready for the track time to follow.

It was a great experience to be able to see where a high level racing team is housed and operates from.  Now lets hit the track!

…stay tuned.

(Special thanks to Ford, Ken Block, And the Hoonigan Racing Division for opening the doors and hosting the reception for the ST Octane Academy)

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