For a decade Ken Block has been delighting car fanatics everywhere with his Gymkhana antics. With 2020 continuing to be the weirdest year on record, KB has passed the torch to his ex-teammate and favorite risk taker Travis Pastrana. And, for the first time since Gymkhana 2, Subaru is back as the vehicular protagonist of this ridiculous ride through Pastrana’s hometown of Annapolis, Maryland.
Subaru went above and beyond with this rally build, teaming—as per usual—with Vermont Sportscar to turn one of their WRX STI street machines into a fire-breathing monster. Take the rallycross-prepped Subaru and tear up the rulebook and you’ve pretty much figured out the design brief for this crazy thing. They gave it almost 900 horsepower, enough suspension travel to take on Baja, and a special button to call Pastrana’s wife Lyn-Z.
The big stunt of the video happens right off the bat with Travis jumping over a river as a giant speedboat goes by underneath. As per usual, the timing isn’t quite right and the car is landed before the boat completes its pass, but that’s alright. It’s visually pretty neat, but for as much setup as I’m sure that took, it would have been just as cool to have the big gap jump without the boat.
From there, Travis does some big smoky skids through the center of town. I particularly liked the shot from inside a crab tank watching the street as the Subie scooted by. The next bit, which I’m sure is how Hoonigan pays the bills, is pretty much just a commercial for the 2022 Subaru BRZ as the WRX spends a little bit too much time drifting around stationary telephone poles in tandem with a BRZ. Okay, neat.
As usual, Travis has to one-up everyone by taking the challenge just a little bit too far to even receive a rebuttal. I may have spent my formative driving years treating rural stretches of two-lane blacktop as if they were rally stages, but I never shot through those neighborhoods at v-max. Pastrana blitzes by the cameras at a massive 150 miles per hour with trees lining the roads, which is just bonkers on its own, but then hits a nice metal kicker and launches the car into the air.
That kind of full-fuckin’-send commitment is exactly what Pastrana does best, and it’s the flavor he brings to the 11th installment of the Gymkhana series.
It was nice to see this one take place in a relatively normal location rather than some far-flung exotic locale with gilded everything. Just a regular American town doing what regular American towns do. Pastrana is Annapolis’ hometown hero, and this video is exactly why.
Some on the internet have pointed out that the video is sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company. Aside from being a weirdly pro-military pro-cop coffee brand with some weird views on politics, it doesn’t seem to have done anything actually wrong. The company was accused of sponsoring Kyle Rittenhouse, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Black Rifle later distanced itself from the Kenosha shooter, saying the pictures on social media of Rittenhouse wearing BRCC apparel were orchestrated by a podcast the company sponsors.
It’s also worth noting that, um, zero people in this video are wearing masks. Gathered crowds lining the streets, groups on rooftops, people in restaurant windows, everyone in the Pit Viper chop top limo, all appear to be ignoring CDC recommendations for limiting the spread of coronavirus. Come on, Travis. You’re a role model, and a hero to your hometown. At least try.