Gymkhana is an internet content-creator dynasty, and Ken Block is at the middle of it. We’re used to seeing the production masterpieces of the mainline Gymkhana entries, but sometimes a look behind the scenes informs how the pizza is made. Block’s uncut video of him donuts and a nerve-wracking stunt in his Hyundai i20 WRC car shows the practice and attempts necessary to make full-fledged Gymkhana videos.
The video takes place at Hoonigan’s new facility, Tire Slayer Studios. Normally, the space is reserved for unhinged burnouts, exploding cars, and what the Hoonigan folks call “scumbagging.” Basically, the goal of the space (and Hoonigan in general) is to do enough donuts, burnouts and drifts to destroy tires and possibly blow some engines. In most places, this is a bad thing. At Hoonigan, it’s a badge of honor.
When it comes to an incredibly expensive WRC car, however, it is not the goal. Though Block did try his best. The Hyundai i20 WRC in the video is actually a former WRC car from the 2021 ruleset. With the 2022 rules having radical changes including a hybrid engine formula, Block’s car is obsolete for true WRC competition. Instead of retiring it, Hoonigan Racing Division modified it to comply with the American Rally Association rules to compete in its national championship.
The team added over 200 pounds of ballast and a much smaller restrictor plate to reduce power to balance the performance to the ARA championship. It is still a true WRC car in its aerodynamics, differentials, and ability to utterly destroy a rally stage. This makes it even more special that block hauled it down to Los Angeles to do some donuts before it gets shipped back to Europe.
In the video, Block does some pretty standard donuts around water barrels. But the real trick is the genuinely incredible donut he did in the minuscule confines of the Hoonigan warehouse. It took him three attempts to do a donut in a space that is barely large enough to park the car normally. The first two attempts involved a collision with a stack of tires and a near collision with a two-post lift.
But the payoff of the actual donut is amazing. It shows the practice and bravery it takes to film just one scene of a Gymkhana film. Next time you see marks, don’t complain. It’s hard to do what Block does.
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