Gymkhana Nine: Ken Block Drops Industrial-Grade Drifting Action On The Masses

GIF via TheHoonigans

One 600-horsepower, rallycross-spec, Zubaz-stripe-liveried Ford Focus RS RX. The rust-scarred locale of Buffalo, New York. Many, many abused tires. You know the formula by now. Feast your eyes on Gymkhana Nine.

Gymkhana Nine stands in direct contrast with the polished, moneyed locale of Dubai from Gymkhana Eight, and all for the better. We’ve all fantasized about hooning the crap out of every loosely monitored, possibly abandoned space in our hometowns. Gymkhana Nine brings the hoonage back to reality, with Block popping out of an eerie looking old station to terrorize the pavement.

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If you’ve ever looked at a vast expanse of pavement and said, “that needs a donut,” you may now live vicariously through Ken Block in his Focus RS RX—a car which had never ventured outside its World Rallycross duties until now.

Look, I don’t care that this series has evolved into slick Ford/Forza Horizon 3 ads with a star driver tie-in. I have about as much shame about loving Gymkhana videos as Buffalo Bills fans do about, well, anything. Gymkhana is beauty in the form of tire destruction and slick tricks. It is my spirit animal with a bigger budget.

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This is one of the best Gymkhana videos Block’s put together in ages. More close shots. More death cheated, especially with that insane train stunt. Let’s enjoy it together.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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DISCUSSION

SlabSheetrock

I’ve never officially lived in Buffalo, but my mom is a South Buffalo native and as such, I’ve spent a lot of time in the city both as a kid and an adult, visiting aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Before a bunch of Buffalo jokes start rolling in, I’m going to tell you that this is a city on the verge of a renaissance...in fact in many ways it’s already happening.

Buffalo knows what it is; it’s a old steel mill and port town that peaked around the turn of the 20th century through shortly after the 2nd World War (comparisons against Detroit are inevitable, but Buffalo has the advantage of not having fallen quite as far as Detroit, and being a smaller community in the first place gives it a bit of an advantage.) This gives the city some stunning period architecture, most of which has been preserved and in some places, repurposed. After a period of economic and population decline, civic leaders realized a while back that they have pretty much a blank canvas upon which to work and ask the question, “what do we want this city to be?” So far, they’ve come up with the right answers.

The downtown and Canalside area have undergone a stunning transformation in the last five years or so; the restaurant and microbrew scene are, for a city its size, top notch. The other thing that strikes me about Buffalo is its sense of community; it’s like no other I’ve seen in my extensive travels around the country. Buffalo residents have a pride of place and a vibe of “we’re all in this together” like no other. The city has a character and charm I’ve seen nowhere else.

TL;DR I will defend Buffalo against the cheap shots and the haters.