Imagine being the follow-up act to the wildly-popular Gymkhana video series that Ken Block and Hoonigan has spent the past decade creating.
Wouldn’t be the easiest day in the office, would it?
But noted US stuntman Travis Pastrana has blocked out the haters and given the 11th instalment his all, performing some of the most death-defying stunts we’ve seen to date.
Not only that, but Pastrana - the brains behind the Nitro Circus franchise - has given long-time Gymkhana partner Ford the flick, returning to the brand that underpinned the very first viral video, Subaru, for Gymkhana 11.
Pastrana, who was given carte blanche to create his own version of a Gymkhana vid, chose to draw upon local knowledge of his Annapolis, Maryland hometown.
Just as well, too, considering many of the stunts in the nine-and-half-minute film were insanely precise and immensely dangerous.
One such jump involved leaping over a 37-metre wide river and over a wild Hoonigan-branded speedboat.
Another involved nearly dropping the car off the docks mid-drift, and the wildest of all involved a ramp, a tight rural road and 240km/h showing on the speedo…
Ken Block hoons 1000kW Ford Mach E
Of course, this display of driving couldn’t have been completed in any ordinary car.
The film prompted the build of a 642kW/900Nm Subaru WRX STI, created by Subaru Rally USA partner Vermont SportsCar.
The fully-custom skid machine features a 2.3-litre boxer billet engine that revs to 8000rpm, can run up to 50psi of boost, spits flames from a turbo dump pipe right through the bonnet and uses active aerodynamics bolted to a carbon fibre widebody WRX sedan.
“I asked for a car that could shatter the record at Mt Washington after this Gymkhana shoot was over but still fly a 200-foot gap. It’s the lightest and quickest vehicle I’ve ever driven," says Pastrana.
"We've never had the opportunity to do this before,” he adds, “to build a car with no restrictions. Engine, suspension, aero… everything is unlimited, clean sheet.
“It's crazy fast, easy to control and get sideways and it was perfect out of the box in testing. Gymkhana is a new challenge for me but I want to raise the bar, and this is the car to do it."
It’s the greatest departure from the norm we’ve seen from the series yet, with a new car and new driver, all filmed with respect to the ever-threatening coronavirus pandemic.
Despite looking terrified any time the camera cut to him during an in-car shot, we reckon Pastrana held his own throughout Gymkhana 11.
What do you think of his efforts in this year’s feature film?
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