The tenth Gymkhana film was released a bit over a year ago to great fanfare. Ken Block has been releasing these automotive shenanigans videos since 2008’s iconic Gymkhana Practice was uploaded to YouTube. That original video has over 16 million views and it knocked me square on my ass when I first saw it. After having done pretty much everything in a car in pretty much every locale you could want to all over the world, Ken Block is passing the torch to his former Rally America teammate Travis Pastrana.
If there’s anything Travis Pastrana is known for, it’s taking shit to the next level. He doesn’t half-ass anything, and has a ton of automotive and motorcycle credits to his name to show for it, as well as a whole bunch of broken bones. He is undeniably the king of stunts, and deserves the Gymkhana mantle for a while. Who better? Nobody, that’s who.
Having married himself to the blue oval brand since Gym3, Block has been a loyal Fordist ever since. Despite the Gymkhana legend having kicked off at the wheel of a Subaru WRX STI, it has been a vehicle for Ford’s marketing department for a long time. As loyal as Block has been to Ford, Mr. Pastrana has continued with the Subaru team for all this time, and will get behind the wheel of the Pleiades-badged Japanese sport sedan for Gymkhana 11. Subaru is back, baby.
“Travis and I have enjoyed a ‘friendly’ rivalry on four wheels since we were teammates in the Rally America Championship in 2004, and it’s continued ever since”, says Block. “And after a year or two of hinting at a Pastrana-driven Gymkhana video, I’m stoked it’s finally going to happen!”
Pastrana has been a featured guest in prior Gymkhana videos, making cameos on his motorcycle in Five and again as a teaser in the credits of Ten. In that cameo, Block tosses Pastrana the keys, which foreshadowed this whole thing. We’ve suspected for a while that Pastrana would get to play at the loud pedal for the next installment, but I for one did not expect the return of Subaru.
The Hoonigans have said that the new iteration won’t fall to any kind of “cookie-cutter formula” and that fans of the series should expect “an all-new vehicle, location, and completely different driving style that is sure to push the boundaries of sanity, and what’s possible on four wheels.” Yeah, that sounds like Pastrana. Meaning absolutely no offense to one Mr. Block, Pastrana is even crazier, even less afraid of danger, and an even better wheelman. It should be good.
And, just because, let’s take a trip back through the Gymkhana videos. I’ve ranked them from worst to best. This is the definitive ranking. Do not debate me on this.
12. Gymkhana Two: The Infomercial
11. Gymkhana Six: Ultimate Gymkhana Grid
10. Gymkhana Four: Hollywood Megamercial
9. Gymkhana Eight: Ultimate Exotic Playground In Dubai
8. Gymkhana Nine: Raw Industrial Playground
7. Gymkhana Ten: The Ultimate Tire Slaying Tour
6. Climbkhana Two: Hoonitruck On China’s Most Dangerous Road
5. Gymkhana Seven: Wild In The Streets Of Los Angeles
4. Gymkhana Practice
3. Climbkhana One: Pikes Peak Featuring The Hoonicorn
2. Gymkhana Five: Ultimate Urban Playground
1. Gymkhana Three: Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome France
Okay, so now when does Gym 11 come out? I can’t wait to geek out about these dumb videos like a teen again.