I remember watching the very first Gymkhana video 11 years ago as Ken Block sat behind the wheel of his Subaru Impreza WRX STI. It was a style of car video no one had ever seen before, and it was no surprise when it became one of YouTube’s most viral videos ever, helped by Top Gear’s coverage of the racing driver and his exquisite driving skills.
Now, after Mr Block looks to be stepping down from this dangerous sport, Travis Pastrana steps up to the automotive throne and manages to raise the bar even further. His 862 horsepower Subaru Impreza screams in the eleventh Gymkhana video, as it rampages around Pastrana’s home town of Annapolis, Maryland, and within literally five seconds of driving, the tone is set as the racing driver shoots him and his car over a river and a power boat branded with the Hoonigan logo.
It’s insane, really, and his facial expressions only make it more entertaining as he focusses down on his driving. And focus he does, as his car slips slightly off the side of a dock, dropping a rear wheel over the water. The other three wheels grapple at the tarmac as the car is hauled off the side and away from the ocean below it. Code brown, anyone?
The video continues to follow Pastrana as he drifts and skids around the town between buildings and equipment around docks. In fact, we get to see the new Subaru BRZ, as it mimics the Subaru’s donuts around a couple of poles. The pairings continue as Pastrana plays chicken with a stunt plane, and tests his nerves against high speed jumps.
If Ken Block is bowing out of the Gymkhana episodes, then Pastrana seems to be the perfect racer to relinquish his spot, and while I’ll miss Ken and his Hoonicorn builds, I’m very happy to welcome Pastrana and can’t wait to watch the extended cut which will come next year.