Block’s Viral Video Continues to Promote the Focus ST
By now you’re probably one of the ten million people who have viewed Ken Block’s latest video – Gymkhana FIVE: Ultimate Urban Playground: San Francisco.
If you haven’t seen it or you want to watch it again, here it is:
The thing that really impresses me the most is that he got permission from the authorities in the second most densely populated city in the country to close the Bay Bridge as well as numerous city and residential streets. Okay, it took four days of filming and I’m sure key places like the bridge were only closed for short periods of time.
No doubt there were some people living in the neighborhoods that were unhappy to hear and smell the burning rubber as Block hooned his way around in his 650 hp Ford Fiesta rallycross car. That said, Block’s masterful car control is always worth watching. Long term it will probably be viewed as enthusiastically as Steve McQueen’s famous Bullitt car chase.
Cynics may describe Block as a more of a stunt man than rally driver, but he has not been doing too badly in serious competition. He finished second, despite a flat tire, in the recent Global-RallyCross event behind Sebastien Loeb, the 8-times WRC champion.
Block has also continued in his Monster WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC, in the World Rally Championship events. He finished in 9th place overall in the last event in New Zealand, which was his third top ten finish. This puts him in second place in results, behind John Buffum, among the handful of American drivers who have ever competed in overseas WRC events.
It’s also good to see that Ford backed Block in his latest DCShoes Gymkhana venture as they loaned him a Focus ST while he scouted the streets. He even got air in the road-going Focus ST. Block can be seen putting the 252 hp Focus ST through its paces in the ever-engaging credits at the end of the video.
“I think it’s great that Ford is finally bringing this product over here to the American consumer,” says Block. “There’s always been a demand for this sort of car from the enthusiasts here and I think they’re going to embrace it once it’s available at the dealership.”
Ford says its partnership with Block has rapidly expanded into additional plans with the upcoming launch of the Focus ST in the U.S. “I’m actually working on a top-secret project with both Ford and one of the top names in small car tuning here in the States,” Block said. “I can’t tell you much more than that right now though!”
A look at what it took to bring Gymkhana FIVE to life in a special behind-the-scenes edit is expected to be released in late August. That should be fascinating to watch as well.
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