Driven to Fail Podcast #3: The man behind Ken Block’s craziest car


What do you do when a dream isn’t working? Would you leave a big-league life behind for a chance to be happy?

Two weeks ago, Hagerty launched a new podcast, Driven to Fail. The show is about what happens when things go wrong—what we do when life falls apart, and what we learn while trying to put it back together. Each episode is about an hour in length, a candid and revealing conversation with a single guest.

I’m Sam Smith, the host. You can read more about the show and find a YouTube version of the first episode here. The second episode is here.

Episode 3 begins streaming today. Our guest is Betim Berisha—the creator of Ken Block’s insane Porsche 911, a former professional globetrotter, and a mad-scientist engineer who loves pulling apart a problem.

Berisha (right) with racing driver and occasional collaborator Tanner Foust. Larry Chen / BBi Autosport

Berisha builds race cars out of Porsches. Twenty years ago, he walked away from a prestigious job at Porsche Motorsport North America because Daytona and Le Mans and some of the fastest cars on earth didn’t seem like enough.

Early on, that journey was risky and exhausting. It is still risky and exhausting, except now Betim has won Pikes Peak multiple times and created one of the coolest indie speed labs in America. His California shop, BBi Autosport, can build you a traditionally fast 911, but it specializes in turning ordinary to mutant absurd: Betim has figured out how to make German flat-sixes stay together with four-figure horsepower, and he lives in a world where you either learn from your bad days or close up shop.

Last year, when Block, Mobil 1, and Hoonigan needed a car for Pikes Peak, Berisha built the Hoonipigasus—a mid-engine, 1400-horse, all-wheel-drive fever dream with GPS-controlled suspension and a body like an acid trip.

When that car blew up on the mountain before its first run—and when, world watching, they hammered to fix it but couldn’t—Berisha simply did what he always does: He went back to the shop and started over, focusing on what came next.

Driven to Fail can be downloaded or streamed wherever you get your podcasts. This link will take you to the show’s Apple page. Its home on Spotify is here.

If faces are more your thing, video of each episode appears on the Driven to Fail YouTube channel shortly after the audio release.

If try our show and like it, please tell your friends. Even better, share a link or leave a positive review. A warm response would help make a second season happen, so hearing from you matters.

Barring any of that, feel free to drop me a line directly: I always love hearing your thoughts.

Thanks for listening!




Note: This episode was taped last year, before Block’s tragic death in January.

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