Gymkhana 5

The guy’s been on Top Gear (the proper UK version) and that’s not because he’s without talent. Ken Block’s Gymkhana series are a massive internet hit and there’s a reason.

In essence Gymkhana is an automotive sport, requiring extreme car control. The aim is to get from start to finish as quick as possible through a course of tightly packed obstacles that can be pretty much anything. Usually it’s cones, but American rally driver Mr. Block has found much better courses throughout his series, of which recently episode 5 was released. And he really takes gymkhana to the extreme: basically, his videos are an orgy of insane car abuse.

The victim? A Ford Fiesta that’s not quite standard anymore. In fact, it’ll even make the Fiesta WRC rally car look like an altar boy. Block’s Fiesta is a 650 horsepower four-wheel drive monster, capable of accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph is just 1.8 seconds. Thinking that’s a typo, perhaps? It’s not, it’s one-point-eight seconds, pretty much twice as fast as the majority of super cars on the market!

So yes, Ken’s car gets around pretty fast and in this last episode he does this in the (closed-off) streets of San Francisco, probably his best gymkhana scene yet (although the abandoned, sloped speed track in France was pretty good too). Sure, the rubber marks on the road make clear that it isn’t at all a one-take effort, but that really is besides the point. It’s still awesome!

Gymkhana 5 must have been made using the highest amount of high-speed cameras yet and they are mounted on pretty much everything. There’s a whole bunch of ‘em on the car, on Block’s helmet, on the cones he’s barely missing, in a helicopter, etc. There’s even one on the helmet of a famous American dirt bike hero called Travis Pastrana who presents a moving obstacle to the Fiesta.

The sheer amount of speed, skill and brutality masterfully captured in the ten-minute video is just insane and demanding a big fat “Oh deary!”


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