What you are going to watch below is a jam packed week full of events for Ken Block condensed down into a three-minute and twenty-six second long video. The edit is actually done in a pretty cool way and really gives you a slight feel for what its like to be “Kenny From The Block” for a week. It also gives you an idea of how tough it is to be a rally car driver even if you aren’t in the top echelon of WRC teams. Personally though the most shocking part of the video to me is footage of Ken Block juggling while balancing on an exercise ball! If rally driving doesn’t work out Ken could always join the circus with cool tricks like that.
Vaughn Gittin Jr has parlayed his many years involvement in Formula Drift with Team Falken and his support from Ford Racing and Monster Energy Drink by winning the 2010 Formula Drift series championship! Dai was still in the running, especially since he out qualified Vaughn in the top 32 but an accident in his battle against Matt Field in the top 32 dashed all chances of Dai taking the title. At that point all Vaughn needed to do was advance out of the top 32 himself to lock in the title and that is exactly what he did when he defeated rookie Nikolay Konstantinov.
With the title battle over the matter of who would take the top spot at Irwindale became the new story. Justin Pawlak was on point all day as was Darren McNamara. Then there was new champion Vaughn Gittin and Tires.com Triple crown hopeful Tanner Foust to think about as well. In the end it came down to Tanner Foust vs Vaughn Gittin for first place. Not only was an Irwindale victory on the line but also the Tires.com Triple Crown. Vaughn was looking to nail the trifecta (Championship, Round 7 win, and Triple Crown) while Tanner wanted his first win of the season and was also hunting the $10k Triple Crown check himself.
Both drivers wanted it bad as the judges were forced to make them run one more time. However, the second time around Tanner Foust took it to the new champion to take the win and the crown.
Congrats to Vaughn Gittin on his 2010 title and to Tanner Foust on his Irwindale win and Triple Crown win. Also a big thanks to all that make up Formula Drift, the drivers, the teams, the staff, and the fans for making 2010 one of the most exciting years for Drifting ever.
P.S. stay tuned to SEMA for some big announcements regarding Formula Drift and a few drivers/teams. To see pics of the Formula Drift round 7 weekend check out our Facebook gallery.
I caught up with Ken Block as the X Games 16 Super Rally day was drawing to a close to get some more insight about his mechanical incident in the “Last Chance Qualifier”. In the process I got him to spill a few small tidbits about Gymkhana 3! Check it out.
X Games is back in town and the entire local automotive culture has gone Rally crazy. There are a few big changes to the Rally event this year versus previous years. The biggest change is the new “Super Rally Cross” format. Before the X Games used a “Super Stage” style in which two cars would run at the same time but on their own set course trying to beat their rival’s time to move on to the next battle. The “Super Rally Cross” format takes the old style but shakes it up by having 4 cars run at the same time…on the same course! Yet they’re still racing the clock more than each other.
However, they have to battle each other for the fastest line through a corner. If that wasn’t crazy enough, they’ve also introduced the “Joker Lane” The Joker Lane is a longer route around the track but it also includes the infamous “gap jump”. Now, a driver can use any lap of the race to take the Joker lane but each driver MUST use the lane at least once per race. This adds a whole new level of excitement as well as strategy for the drivers. Will they get the Joker lane out of the way early? Or will they save it for the last lap?
Tune into the X Games on ESPN and ESPN HD TODAY to watch the action. You can also stay tuned to Xgames.com or right here on MotorworldHype.com as well as our twitter page @MotorworldHype to stay updated on the action. Check out some practice pictures from Friday below and even more pictures in our gallery.
The 2010 Formula Drift season officially kicked off over the weekend with Round 1 taking place on the streets of Long Beach. All the pre-season hype was over and it was time for all the teams with new cars to put their money where their mouths were. Questions were answered and more were asked but when all the tire smoke cleared it was Vaughn Gittin Jr on top of the podium thanks to his new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang. Taking 2nd place was Rhys Millen in his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe and coming in 3rd was Tanner Foust in his Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC thus creating an all energy drink podium.
So what were some of the highlights from the weekend? Well Long Beach was to be the debut for several new cars such as Sam Hubinette’s Dodge Challenger, and Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Chevy Camaro. However not all the new cars made it to the grid. Noticably absent was the Hankook Tire GT-R built by Gruppe-S/Dynamic Autosport for Robbie Nishida as well as the Hankook Tire Subaru WRX for Irish driver Eric O’Sullivan. Both cars failed to pass a last minute tech inspection and were not allowed to run. You can follow up on that drama on WreckedMagazine.com.
I am happy to say that the other highlight wasn’t controversial but a shocker nonetheless. Nordic driver Fredric Aasbo was extremely impressive in his Toyota Supra and shocked the crowed when he took down 2009 Formula D Champion Chris Forsberg in the top 16! Aasbo made it all the way to the final four where he lost to Vaughn Gittin Jr. in what some would call a questionable call by Formula D judges. Aasbo then had to take on Tanner Foust but it appeared as if his confidence was shaken since Tanner made quick work of Aasbo who seemed hesitant to stick close to Tanner during the battle. Vaughn used the momentum from his earlier win over Aasbo to take on Rhys Millen in a heated battle. But when Rhys spun and crashed into the tire barrier on his second run he handed the victory to Gittin thus securing the all energy drink podium.
With Long Beach wrapped up it is on to Road Atlanta where hopefully some of the cars who had trouble in Long Beach will be all sorted. WIll Vaughn be able to repeat down south? WIll the new Hankook Tire cars be ready for the next round? We’ll do our best to keep you posted!
In the mean time you can check out our 2 day gallery on our Facebook page or you can check out UrbanRacer.com’s gallery full of yummy action shots.
Last night I got to visit Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and hang out with the who’s who of the drifting community and the actions sports set to whitness the official debut of Vaughn Gittin Jr’s new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang drift car. There was free alcohol, fish tacos, and lots of green light! However I don’t drink so I was only able to enjoy the latter of the three. It was pretty cool walking around the same place I watch Rob Dyrdek “do work” on MTV. Even the mini Subaru from Gymkahna 2.1 was on display! Check out some pics below and even more in our StreetFire photo gallery.
Ken Block and Subaru has been the hot campus couple for a while now but news came out that they broke up and Ken is already dating other OEM! You’ll never guess who it is either…Ford!! I know right?! Like OMG! Ok jokes aside this is all true. Ken Block wants to go to WRC and Ford along with Monster Energy Drink are willing to send him there. Hence the creation of his new Monster World Rally Team (or MWRT). He is looking to run a limited WRC schedule for 2010 in a Ford Focus RS but he will also still compete in Rally America and the X-Games in a rally spec Ford Fiesta similar to what Tanner Foust drove in the X-Games in ’09. Is Subaru stung by this? Maybe a little bit but they did get a decent amount of mileage from Mr. Block and his Gymkhana antics. Speaking of, the DC Shoes camp is telling us to stay tuned to another video. Will it be just as exciting with a Ford Fiesta? If anyone can find a way to make it so, its KB.
January 6, 2010-(VISTA, CA)- DC is proud to announce its 2010 sponsorship of the newly formed Monster World Rally Team (MWRT) headed by DC Co-Founder and Rally Car athlete, Ken Block. DC has sponsored Ken and its team of rally athletes for 4 years and is committed to expanding its global programs through the DC family of elite athletes. As part of the partnership, DC will produce apparel, footwear and accessories for the newly formed rally team and consumers worldwide.
“DC is proud to support Ken’s new venture into the World Rally Championship (WRC) series with his new rally team,” said DC President Anton Nistl. “Whether serving as DC’s Chief Brand Officer, creating viral videos, such as the Gymkhana series, or racing rally, Ken continues to exceed expectations and we’re sure that this new endeavor with the MWRT will be no different.”
DC will continue to create its exclusive rally products for Ken, team and crew throughout the 2010 season. Fans can look forward to an extended line of MWRT products that will be available globally through DC’s retail partners.
“I’m excited that DC is joining me on this new part of my career,” said Ken Block. “DC has supported my rally racing career from the beginning and they have developed a great rally program that will continue to grow with their support of the new Monster World Rally Team.”
Ken will compete in select races during the 2010 WRC series as well as the entire Rally America season and the Summer X Games 16. Ken will be the first American driver to campaign the WRC as part of a multi-year program. As part of his new team, Ken will drive for new auto partner, Ford Motor Company and will continue to race in the Rally America Series while competing in the WRC series.
I just caught this little gem on Cosworth’s USA website. It looks like Cosworth collab’d with Vermont Sports Car to build another “Jump Car” for Ken Block. From what it looks like this car was built for an attempt to break Ken Block’s previous record rally jump of 171 feet. According to the article this attempt might take place somewhere in the UK as the car was recently shipped there to complete tuning and testing. So why was all this on Cosworth’s site? Well, it looks like Cosworth handled the ECU tuning duties of Block’s newest toy and they were eager to get the word out. What leads me to assume that this information is a “leak” is the fact that I haven’t seen any announcements or news about another jump attempt on Ken Block’s website or any of his affiliate sites.
What really thickens this plot however is that it was also recently announced that Ken Block’s teammate/energy drink rival Travis Pastrana would also make an attempt at a world record rally jump at the next Red Bull New Years event. So is Ken going to try to raise the bar even higher before Travis has at it? Or will Mr. Block hang back until next year to try and beat Travis’ record? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Check out the announcement video of Travis Pastrana’s jump attempt.