PARK CITY, UTAH - In preparation for the launch of his all-new video project, Climbkhana, on Monday, September 25th, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block has shared never-before-seen footage of him testing his twin turbo'd 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2 in Colorado prior to filming at Pikes Peak. See Block talk all about it and witness the absolute insanity that is 1,400 methanol-powered horses shredding tires at all four corners right here.
PARK CITY, UT: Terrakhana is Ken Block’s second spinoff from his hugely successful Gymkhana franchise of videos (the first being Climbkhana, which drops in September), where he will now take the style of driving he performs in his Gymkhana videos and bring it to massive areas of natural landscapes, aka “terra.”
For his first-ever Terrakhana, Block and Pennzoil headed to southern Utah to visit an area known as Swing Arm City. The location has been a favorite vacation spot of Block and his family and was first in his mind for places to go and apply his concept of an all-terrain Gymkhana project.
“It’s funny, because I’ve wanted to do other variations of Gymkhana like Climbkhana and Terrakhana for years now,” said Block. “Gymkhana started for me because I was looking to practice my rally driving skills in a more affordable way in-between races. That then grew into this much bigger thing, but it always stemmed from me wanting to have fun in cars. And, if I’m being perfectly honest, the most fun for me is out on dirt and gravel! You can imagine how stoked I was to learn Pennzoil shared this vision. It’s how I got started in racing and the gravel sections of our rallycross races are always my favorite. So, to be able to finally go and do a proper Gymkhana-style video with one of my cars but on dirt is one of those dream-come-true situations for me.”
For Terrakhana, the harsh conditions of the Utah desert (average temperature during filming was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) were the perfect test bed for Block to run Pennzoil Synthetics under maximum load and put them to the test. The film speaks to the results.
Also on board for directing, production and editing was Hoonigan Media Machine, an off-shoot of Hoonigan Industries. The video was directed by Brian Scotto, the Creative Director of almost all of the Gymkhana video series, Director of the hugely successful Gymkhana NINE video, as well as other major Hoonigan Media Machine video projects.
Last week, Ken Block debuted his recently upgraded 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2, now featuring a twin turbo, methanol power, 1,400 horsepower V8 engine. This week, in conjunction with presenting partner Toyo Tires, the World Rallycross driver is pleased to announce the purpose of the Hoonicorn update: a new film series entitled Climbkhana.
“Climbkhana is the next generation of the Gymkhana series,” says Block. “I’ve long wanted to extend Gymkhana beyond the backdrops it has been living in. As a rally-driver, I have always wanted to mix what I do in the films with stage roads. During a race, I’m focused on being fast and clean through the road, but Climbkhana gives me an outlet to let it all hang out and run it sideways, plus add some additional obstacles along the way. And what better roads than hill climbs, which are essentially uphill stages. And what better Hill Climb to start with than the famous Pikes Peak! Which also happens to be the setting for one of my favorite automotive films, Climb Dance with Ari Vatanen.”
Ken Block’s Hoonigan Media Machine began filming the project this fall at Historic Pikes Peak. Joining Gymkhana creative veteran and Hoonigan’s own Brian Scotto for director duties is Jeff Zwart, a man almost synonymous with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The commercial director, known best for his work with Porsche through RadicalMedia, also holds 3 records and 8 class wins over the 15 times he has raced up the Colorado mountain. The film will be released in Summer 2017.
The announcement of Climbkhana also serves as the launching platform for Toyo’s Proxes R888R tire, which as of today is now available in the U.S. for the first time ever. Specially crafted in advance for Block and his Hoonicorn V2, the 1,400 horsepower machine now sports 295/35/18 Toyo Proxes R888R tires at all four corners, providing Block with the enhanced grip and stability he needs when sliding that much power around famous curves at Pikes Peak like Ari Vatanen while simultaneously providing Block with the tire smoke that he craves when doing power slides and Gymkhana-style maneuvers on the mountain.
Watch the Climbkhana trailer today on Toyo Tires YouTube channel, as well as on the Toyo Tires Facebook page.: facebook.com/ToyoTires
PARK CITY, UTAH, SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 — It’s an historic year for Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and his Gymkhana series. Only six months after the release of Gymkhana Eight, set in Dubai UAE, Block returns with Gymkhana NINE: Raw Industrial Playground, live now on Hoonigan’s Youtube account. The video returns the professional rallycross driver’s hugely popular, 400+million view viral video franchise to its original roots, letting the pure, raw driving action take center stage once again. Co-starring alongside Block, is the all-new Ford Focus RS RX that he competes with in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
“I really wanted to bring Nine back to the core roots of my earlier Gymkhana videos,” said Block. “The full city takeovers are a ton of fun, but we felt that it was time to get back to the basics, especially with the new Ford Focus RS RX. We really wanted to let it shine and be the star in this video since it has so much useable power and control. We also partnered with Microsoft’s Forza Horizon 3 video game on this one, which allowed us to incorporate some insane tricks that actually pull inspiration from the game itself. It all worked out amazingly and I couldn’t be more stoked on how this video turned out.”
Hoonigan Media Machine, the new content-focused division of Hoonigan Industries, took the production reigns on Gymkhana NINE. While always the creative driver behind the films, Hoonigan now boasts an in-house film production team as well. Brian Scotto, Block’s business partner in the brand, stepped up from his previous role of Creative Director to Director on this latest installment from the team’s viral powerhouse series.
Filmed over the course of four days in western New York, the video takes place in a series of mostly derelict industrial spaces, harkening back to settings that are visually similar to Block’s first two Gymkhana videos and that ultimately allowed for some of Block’s most raw and aggressive Gymkhana driving in years.
In addition to being presented by Hoonigan, Gymkhana NINE also ushers in a new partnership for Block with the Forza Horizon video game franchise. Two tricks in the video that were inspired by the game itself include a helicopter suspending a brand-new 2017 Ford Raptor from the sky while Block does donuts around it as it spins wildly out of control, as well as a scene where Block drift jumps sideways in front of a moving train. Both of the Forza moments are incredibly high-risk and utilized all of Block’s skill to be pulled off successfully.
“This is probably common sense, but just so that we’re clear, please, please, please do not attempt to recreate any of the tricks you see me do in his video at home on your own,” said Block. “Especially trying to outrun a train. Attempting to outrun a train isn’t just stupid, it’s also illegal. So please, don’t do it! I do these in a closed course environment with full safety crews, stunt coordinators and a well thought out plan!”
In addition to the aforementioned “Forza moments” from the video, Block also ups the ante in Gymkhana NINE with one of his most outrageous maneuvers to-date: a literal cliffhanger where he throws his Ford Focus RS RX into an alley-oop around a telephone cable spool and proceeds to hang the rear end—and rear wheels—right off of the edge of a pier on Lake Erie.
“The moment where I’m hanging the rear of my car off of that shipping pier was definitely stressful,” said Block. “But, it’s something that we really wanted to do in real life since previously people have only seen something like that in a CGI-d BMW commercial [Block is referencing a BMW advertisement where a car is drifting around on top of an aircraft carrier deck, something that many casual observers thought to be real when in fact it was all CGI]. That’s the great thing about these videos, everything I do with the car, everything we capture on camera is all real, live action. We may do a few takes to get all of the angles covered or get timing more dialed, but at the end of the day it’s all actual driving, nothing is faked.”
To see Block and his Ford Focus RS RX put it all on the line and in action in Gymkhana NINE, click here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/_bkX5VkZg8U
PARK CITY, UTAH, SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 — Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to announce that in less than one week, his ninth installment in his 400 million-view viral video franchise, Gymkhana, will be going live on Ford Performance’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/fordperformance).
The video will star both Block and his all-new for 2016 Ford Focus RS RX that he currently races in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. The video will be the second in the series hosted by Ford Performance and also marks the introduction of a new partner to the globally celebrated franchise: Microsoft’s Forza Horizon XBox videogame series.
“This definitely is the rawest Gymkhana video that I’ve done in a long time,” said Block. “We really took it back to the basics like in the original Gymkhana video and put the emphasis on my driving and on the car. I’m really excited about this one! It’s got my new racecar, it’s me bringing it back to a more on-the-limit and visceral driving style and with my new partner in Forza Horizon 3, we were able to bring in some inspiration from the game to this video. I think the fans are going to be stoked when this drops on the 13th.”
Gymkhana NINE will be live on the Ford Performance YouTube channel on September 13th at 8 AM EST. Be sure to set your calendars and tune in.
**Forza Horizon 3 takes place in Australia and features the largest and most diverse open world ever seen in the “Forza Horizon” series. The game will be available in early access on September 23 then widely available on September 27 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
LOS ANGELES, CA — For the eighth installment in Ken Block’s 350+ million view Gymkhana viral video franchise, Block has taken his smoky, sideways driving style to his most exotic destination yet: Dubai!
Starring Block and an updated version of his world-famous Ford Fiesta ST RX43 rallycross car, Gymkhana EIGHT: Ultimate Exotic Playground; Dubai, is Block’s most cinematic film to-date. Block’s Fiesta also lights up the screen, literally, thanks to a unique, ultra reflective livery that was created specifically for Gymkhana EIGHT (Ultra Reflective Livery Reveal video here: https://youtu.be/8-UEF6OJOT4). It also marks only the second time in Gymkhana history that Block has filmed one of his videos outside of the United States, the first time being Gymkhana THREE when he visited a very unique racetrack in France.
“I realize it sounds cliché to say it, but this is probably my favorite Gymkhana thus far,” said Block. “When XDubai reached out to partner with me as a sponsor last season, one of the things they brought to the table was the ability for us to come and have carte blanche in terms of filming a Gymkhana video in Dubai. The offer was amazing since I had identified Dubai as a location where I’d like to film something a few years prior, so of course I jumped at the opportunity. The fact that we were able to shut down the Sheik Zayed Road for only the second time in the history of Dubai [the road is the main highway in Dubai and has only been fully shut down once previously, when President George W. Bush visited in 2008], have access to a fully shutdown airport runway with a 747 and to be able to film in Burj Park, which is part of the world’s tallest building [the Burj Khalifa] is absolutely awesome. Now would be a great time for me to be able to say a huge heartfelt thank you to the people of Dubai for letting us come and make this awesome video, so, thank you!”
Other features in the film include a Ford Raptor driving-on-two-wheels as an obstacle for Block, the entire Dubai Police Force’s Exotic Cars division on set at all times—and featured as an obstacle at one point—two Ford Performance-related “Easter Eggs,” within the video, a very special set of credits, and much, much more. Plus there’s even a special announcement and preview of a new project car for Ken at the absolute end.
Like the Gymkhana EIGHT, reflective “Stars & Stripes” pattern featured on Block’s Fiesta ST RX43? Livery-inspired gear is now available at hoonigan.com, Zumiez, Tillys and other rad retailers.
For 2016, Ken Block is proud to announce a brand new, multi-year partnership with Toyo Tires. The debut with Block and Hoonigan Racing Division will be seen in just one week when the latest installment in Block’s 350+ million view Gymkhana viral video franchise, Gymkhana EIGHT drops on the Ford Performance YouTube channel, February 29th at 9 PM PST.
“I’m stoked to have Toyo Tires joining me in my ongoing quest to kill as many tires as possible,” said Block. “It’s an exciting partnership for me because I feel like everyone at Toyo Tires understands my mission to be competitive on-track, but to be able to take these amazing racecars and have fun with them off track—which for myself means smoky, sideways driving doing Gymkhana.”
To help introduce the new relationship to the automotive world, as well as debut Block’s all-new Ford Fiesta ST RX43 Gymkhana EIGHT livery, Toyo Tires has partnered with Hoonigan to produce and present Block’s livery reveal video. For Gymkhana EIGHT, Block and his team have created a highly unique, directionally reflective, black-on-black livery that changes looks depending on the angle at which it’s viewed, as well as how light is hitting it. The video serves to give fans their first official glimpse of Block’s Fiesta in Gymkhana EIGHT trim and how it changes looks in the light, but also their first official look of Block’s car equipped with Toyo tires.
“Gymkhana EIGHT is definitely one of my favorite projects that we’ve done so far,” said Block. “Part of what made the process so enjoyable for me was running on the Toyo Proxes R1R which provided good tire smoke, but really good mid-slide feel. They broke away very predictably and allowed me to pull off some pretty tricky maneuvers with confidence. I’m really looking forward to working on future product with Toyo Tires that’s built even more specifically for Gymkhana, but the off-the-shelf Proxes R1R performed awesome for this project.”
Ken Block’s Gymkhana EIGHT drops January 29th, be sure to tune in and watch Block smoke out [redacted] with his smoldering Toyo tires.
Like the Gymkhana EIGHT, reflective “Stars & Stripes” pattern featured on Block’s Fiesta ST RX43? Livery-inspired gear is now available at hoonigan.com, Zumiez, Tillys and other rad retailers.
For the fourth year in a row, Monster Energy has organized Gymkhana GRID, The European Gauntlet. The event is one of the most exciting motorsports going on today, featuring head-to-head racing competitions that are held on identical, mirrored courses. Racers are forced to not only race each other on the clock, but to also interact with the course in very specific ways, with certain sections requiring cars to slide and drift in order to not receive time penalties, as well as avoiding contact with obstacles. The 2015 season finale event returned to Santa Pod Raceway in the U.K., the venue that hosted the first European finale four years ago. Monster Energy went bigger and better, securing live broadcasting for the event on television in both the U.K as well as France, and a simultaneous live stream broadcast on their YouTube channel.
The event also marked the public debut of Ken Block and Hoonigan’s latest car build: a 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS. The car was driven at the event by fellow Hoonigan driver and top Formula D competitor, Ryan Tuerck, since Block had driving duties behind the wheel of his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR for the weekend. Tuerck did both the Escort and Block proud by winning his “hero battle” on the final day of competition, a showdown between Tuerck and the winner of the rear wheel-drive Gymkhana GRID class who happened to be Monster athlete Luke Woodham. In fact, Tuerck and the Escort ended up being the fastest rear wheel-drive setup of the entire weekend.
Block was busy all weekend long with media interviews, autograph sessions and media ride alongs, but still managed to put in a handful of laps on Friday’s media day. Saturday saw Block rained out from running (Block’s Hoonicorn RTR features open intakes and has no side windows or windshield wipers, so it’s unable to run safely in the rain) and his Sunday schedule only allowed him to run on the course twice before having to compete in his hero battle. Block ended up racing the all wheel-drive class winner, Dmitrij Sribnyj in his hero battle, narrowly getting beat out by Sribnyi. An unsurprising result given that Block’s Hoonicorn RTR wasn’t built for competition and features far too much horsepower and vehicle size for the slightly smaller-than-normal Gymkhana GRID course setup.
“It was an incredibly fun weekend and I loved watching all the competitors battle it out,” said Block. “Trying to get the massive and overly powerful Hoonicorn around the course was a real challenge today and it's the first time I've properly raced it. Dmitrij had an amazing drive in our one-on-one, so well done to him! He’s been the all wheel-drive class winner every year that Monster has run this event, so he’s definitely been building up the experience required to excel at this. I also think that the turnout for the event was great and it was awesome seeing the thousands of stoked fans respond so well to my two cars. Monster did an awesome job with event once again, so I’m already looking forward to next year’s race. Thanks to Monster for organizing such a great event and to all the fans who came to see us.”
Long Beach, CA – Ken Block and Hoonigan Industries are proud to introduce Block’s first-ever, rear-wheel-drive Gymkhana machine. Based on the loved and celebrated Ford Escort platform, which gained its storied history in European rally racing, this 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS is quite unlike its stage-ready counterparts. Block’s flat black and star-spangled, Rocket Bunny-kitted Mk2 was built with one specific focus in mind—to kill tires with the quickness, navigating obstacles on a Gymkhana course.
“This Escort Mk2 is special to me, it’s actually my first Ford rally car,” says Block. “I purchased it in 2008. It was designed to compete in tarmac events, but unfortunately those are quite lacking now stateside, so instead of converting it into a gravel machine, I had my team at Hoonigan Racing Division extend on its tarmac capabilities and develop it into the ultimate rear wheel-drive Gymkhana car.”
Mechanically, this Escort shares all the best parts of a top-level WRC-spec tarmac build, yet coupled with a specialized suspension setup with Gymkhana tricks in mind. Under the star-studded hood, the car packs a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder Millington motor that generates 333 naturally-aspirated horses and absolutely screams at the limit when stretched out to the 9,000 rpm redline. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox.
Block wanted to update the styling of the vehicle to something that fell in line with his current fleet of racecars. This meant one thing: a wider stance and wider arches all around. To get the job done, Block and Hoonigan contacted famed Japanese widebody designers Rocket Bunny. Their founder Kei Miura worked with Block and his team to create the world’s first Rocket Bunny Escort, borrowing inspiration from Hoonigan Racing’s current RX43 and HFHV Fiestas, the notorious Hoonicorn RTR and other well-known Rocket Bunny designs. After digitally scanning the Escort at the Hoonigan Racing HQ in Park City Utah, Miura and Rocket Bunny set of to build one of the widest and most unique kits seen on an Escort Mk2. To set off the look, the car sits on custom two-piece fifteen52 wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber.
"This car has been something I've been working on slowly for a long time now," said Block. "I'm stoked with how the whole thing turned out. My team and Graham Quick at Quick Motorsport in the U.K. did a great job on the build of the car, Rocket Bunny did an awesome job with the exterior styling and I absolutely love how The Hoonigans took something I really love—the American flag—and remixed it into a badass graphic for the livery of this car. I’ve only been able to test this car for two days, but I'm looking forward to slaying some more tires in this thing really soon. The car absolutely rips, especially at 9,000 rpm.”
While Block and the Hoonigans are working on a bigger video project for 2016 to feature this new build, you can watch the Head Hoonigan in Charge shakedown the Gymkhana Escort at the Hoonigan Donut Garage in the video linked above. In the coming months, you’ll also be able to see some of your favorite Hoonigan athletes (in addition to Ken Block) getting behind the wheel as guest drivers. The first public appearance of the car will be this coming weekend at Monster Energy’s Gymkhana GRID Finale in the U.K. More info on that later this week. Like the “Stars and Stripes” pattern featured on the hood of Block’s Escort? The graphic pattern from his livery is available as part of Hoonigan’s 2015 Holiday 2015 collection, available at hoonigan.com, Zumiez, Tillys and other rad retailers.
After a four-year hiatus, Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block returned to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The world famous event, hosted by Lord March who happens to own the Goodwood property, is a yearly car concours show where a lot of the amazing cars get to drive and race up Lord March’s personal hill climb road (which is actually his driveway). For 2015, Block headed out with his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR and the all-new 2016 Ford Focus RS. The event marked only the second time that Block's Hoonicorn had been driven for the public and the first time that the public had been able to see the Focus RS in action in public.
In true Hoonicorn fashion, Block tore up the tarmac (and some of Lord March's grass alongside the track) in his Mustang for the fans at Goodwood, and also pushed the new RS to the limits as he continually stepped the tail out, highlighting the all wheel-drive system that the RS will be coming with.
"I had an awesome time at Goodwood this year," said Block. I hadn't made it out in a few years due to schedule conflicts and I'd been missing it. The event is such a great mix of motorsport personalities, amazing old and new cars and knowledgable fans. The posh English setting is a nice bonus, too! But, I really enjoyed running up the hill in my Hoonicorn and the new Focus RS. I think the fans enjoyed it too! I even was able to give a ride to Lord March himself on Sunday morning in the Hoonicorn, he seemed pretty stoked about it! Hopefully I'll be able to return next summer."