About two years ago, I came across a clip of Ken Block’s “airfield rallying” video clip from BBC’s Top Gear. I was so blown away by the American rally driver’s skills, I did a blog post on it here. Block, who has been driving for the Monster World Rally Team since 2010, has also also created a series of Gymkhana videos which have gone unbelievably viral over the last couple of years. Gymkhana is basically precision driving where, according to Wikipedia, “the driver must maneuver through a predetermined ‘track’ performing many different driving techniques.” Ken Block recently released the video for his Gymkhana Five which involved him driving through the streets of San Francisco.
The press release states:
Gymkhana FIVE demonstrates the agility of the Fiesta and Block’s unique driving skills utilising the topography of a real-life urban playground.
The Fiesta featured in Gymkhana FIVE is the same car that was used in the previous viral video, designed by Block and the Monster World Rally Team to compete in three distinct disciplines: gymkhana, RallyCross and stage rally. The car features a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor that generates 485kW and can go from zero to 100km/h in only 1.8 seconds.
Chosen for its unique physical terrain and its ability to be easily recognized on a global level, San Francisco served as the perfect location for Block to light-up the streets in the nimble Fiesta. The city by the bay known for its iconic bridges, steep windy streets, and distinct neighbourhoods—as well as a famous chase scene in the movie Bullit—provided an ideal gymkhana playground that increased the difficulty level of not just the tricks, but driving lines as well.
“San Francisco was absolutely amazing for Gymkhana,” said Block. “It’s such a unique location for this kind of driving and allowed me to do some things that I never thought I’d ever be able to incorporate into one of my Gymkhana videos—like jumping a table top or doing a jump drift!”
The video has had over 21 million views since July 9th when it was posted and, when you see it, you’ll understand why. The driving. The camera work. The editing. Dope. Even with the cheesy ending.