Is Gymkhana 11 the wildest iteration yet?

Variety is the spice of life: new car and new driver combine for most insane Gymkhana film to date

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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?

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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.

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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. 

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Red Bull Air Race ace Kirby Chambliss makes a spectacular cameo

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.

Travis Pastrana Gymkhana Subaru WRX STI wing
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“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. 

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This jump has to be seen to be believed

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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