Internet sensation Ken Block brought out his tire shredding skills once again in “Gymkhana Six,” the latest in a series of YouTube videos, that feature a tricked-out race car ripping around a complicated race course.
Block, whose past videos have garnered more than 250 million views, released the “Gymkhana Six” early Monday. The 6 1/2-minute video was filmed at San Bernardino airport.
As expected, the footage includes Block muscling his souped-up Ford Fiesta into sweeping drifts and tight doughnuts that result in torrents of tire smoke. But this video is a departure from his last two, which were more theatrical, having taken place on a Hollywood back lot and the streets of San Francisco.
For "Gymkhana Six," Block built a playground with a wide range of obstacles. He’s seen ripping a set of doughnuts around a spiked wrecking ball, two Lamborghini Aventadors and two cops on Segways (yes, Segways).
Block also sends his Fiesta through unimaginable tight spots like sliding through narrow doorways cut into the sides of shipping containers and between elevated backhoes.
The inspiration for the video was a video game he’s been working on “Need for Speed: Rivals” and his own Gymkhana Grid competition, in which drivers battle it out around complex obstacle course.
“I’m stoked about how 'Gymkhana Six' has turned out,” said Block. “Obviously we had to go in a different direction this year after conquering San Francisco in 'Gymkhana Five,' and the tie-in with Gymkhana Grid for me was a natural direction.”
Block, 45, grew up in Long Beach and is co-founder of the shoe line DC Shoes. He filmed his first professionally produced video, "Gymkhana Practice," at the El Toro airfield in 2008. It was an immediate hit.
In the second video, "Gymkhana 2," filmed on the docks at the Port of Long Beach, Block began decking out his car with logos of DC Shoes and other sponsors, and his business was born.
The third was filmed just south of Paris at an oval track with 51-degree wall banks on which Block performed his signature doughnuts. The fourth was on the Universal Studios back lot and involved studio props, a Bollywood dance troupe and the shark from "Jaws."
His most recent video is a wild ride on the streets of San Francisco that makes Steve McQueen's roadwork in "Bullitt" look amateurish.
The videos’ success has given him a fan base that extends to his rally car racing career. But it has also drawn big-name sponsors looking to gain traction with a teenage and millennial crowd more inclined to watch a 10-minute stunt video than a three-hour track race.