Ken Block decided to invite some friends over for some fun. But when guys that drive cars for a living some together, it’s not going to be a BBQ and some beers for sure. Fast forward to the Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid event.
Held at the Toyota Irwindale Speedway, the event was just like one of the host’s famous viral internet videos, but with the replay button set on permanently and more smoke than a smoke machine factory on fire.
There was a host of drivers on hand such as Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gitting Jr, Andrew Comrie-Picard and Block himself in a host of tyre-shredding machines. Cars were split into AWD or RWD categories to keep things on a level field.
The course was setup in a similar fashion to the Race of Champions, with two exact courses laid out next to each other. After the eliminations, the final was down to Block and Foust. Both took the wheel of similar 550hp AWD Ford Fiestas for a best-of-three run.
With much experience, Block ran a near perfect round but Foust took the liberty of doing in perfectly, demonstrating inhuman levels of car control such as 720-degree donuts mere inches around a barrel to beat Block at his own game.
Apart from the main event, there was also the Discount Tyre burn-out contest as a sideshow. This time around, the RWD vehicles proved their superiority, with Michael Essa claiming the title in his GSR Autosport 350R, a BMW 3 Series packing the V10 from the previous gen M5 under its hood.
Drivers were given three minutes to make as much smoke as possible and most drivers just took to the course and did spins. Essa on the other hand just applied full lock to his steering and hit the throttle till the tacho needle bounced off the rev-limiter, in third gear, until the weather report went from clear and sunny to cloudy with a chance of smoke inhalation.
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