Posts Tagged ‘Ken Block’

CENTER STAGE> Fifteen52 Volkswagen Jetta Variant

The first time I met Matt Crooke, co-owner of Fifteen52, was on a cold night in Upland, California. We were at a locally-famous restaurant called The Hat, which is known for their great pastrami sandwiches. However, I wasn't there for the beef. I was there for the weekly gathering of Volkswagens that come out in droves just to hang out and chit-chat about the trials and tribulations of owning and modding a Volkswagen. We quickly got acquainted and I soon found out what Fifteen52 really meant.   Read more...

VIDEO> Mads Østberg at Rally Sørland Shakedown

Recently I’ve been checking out a lot of different videos; seeing what’s sick and what produced a dry, wheezing cough. I came across this one on ContourHD’s site. It features some truly inspired rally driving.

In the video, we ride along with Mads Østberg and his co-driver Jonas Andersson through Rally Sørland Shakedown in their Ford Fiesta S2000. To give you a little insight into the mad skills of these dudes, they beat Ken Block in the Swedish round of World Rally Championship and came second overall! And if you are wondering what the language is, it’s Swedish. By the way, my Swedish is a little rusty but I believe Jonas is actually reading Mads one of the Twilight books…..silly Swedes. LOL! (more…)


GALLERY> Global Rallycross at Irwindale Speedway

This past weekend's Global Rallycross event at Irwindale Speedway was definitely not what I expected. I mean, I've been to amateur rallycross events in the past... but this was just... different. To most people in the racing community, the term rallycross is what people use to describe an event that looks like an autocross event in the dirt. A rallycross normally takes place in a large dirt area, with marker cones denoting the course layout. The cars that normally participate in rallycross are the type of cars that you would see in an issue of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine - budget built, weekend racers built by everyday people like you and me.

Well, I suppose the Global Rallycross Championship is just like that - but replace the budget rallycars with fully-built factory-backed professional race cars with full welded rollcages, built engines, and top notch suspension and safety equipment. Also, replace the everyday-Joe shadetree mechanic type with professional drivers from the X-Games, Formula Drift, Pike's Peak International Hillclimb, and the World Rally Championship (WRC). Oh yeah... and replace the dirt parking lot with a humongous man-made dirt course, complete with dirt ramp for catching some big air! This, my friends, is the Global Rallycross Championship. It sure as hell sounds exciting, doesn't it?!

Before you look at the rest of the photos, I really should mention that the Global Rallycross Championship at Irwindale was pretty much the coolest event that nobody knew about.   Read more...

VIDEO> John Russakoff & F20 AE86 Gymkhana

The other day, I stumbled across some unused ContourHD footage of John Russakoff in his F20 powered Corolla at Ken Block’s Gymkhana GRID Invitational. He ended up doing very well that evening, so rather than letting the clips get lost in the endless sea of footage that is my hard drive, I decided to upload them raw for all to enjoy. (more…)


VIDEO> Toshiki Yoshioka & S15 Silvia Gymkhana

All of my footage of the MotorMavens Mass Appeal | Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana event went to Joe Ayala for our video coverage of the show… or so I thought! I just found this ContourHD clip of Toshiki Yoshioka driving the Driftspeed S15 Silvia and a few more while reorganizing my external hard drive. (more…)


VIDEO> Mass Appeal Show & Ken Block Gymkhana

Mass Appeal/Gymkhana GRID from Joe Ayala on Vimeo.

Fifty one (51) days after the first-ever MotorMavens Mass Appeal Show & The Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational took place at Irwindale Speedway, I’ve finally finished the video. Most of the excuses for tardiness I can think of would actually be true – I was out of state for the holidays; I was busy with work; I got sick; my dog ate my computer, etc… but it all comes down to me just not getting it finished until now. Better late than never I guess.

The Mass Appeal event was, in fact, our very first car show, and throughout all the adversity (with our website site getting hacked two weeks before the show and car show registrations not going through), we pushed on regardless and the show turned out very well! We had a lot more carshow registrants than we expected, and the sheer diversity of the cars that showed up was amazing. We had Southern California’s best slammed-and-stretched cars in attendance, including luxury and VIP cars, several old school Japanese and German cars, several brand newly built race cars and promo vehicles from SEMA and the LA Auto Show, an actual widebody JZA80 Supra race car from the JGTC (Japan Grand Touring Championship) series, a Lexus LFA, and even a couple of slammed hot rods! The Mass Appeal show was quite an experience, and we thank everyone who showed up for helping to make it a great success! (more…)


VIDEO> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

The very first time I ever posted a video by Joshua Herron on the internet, I was still writing for Speedhunters, he had just finished editing his 2009 Tokyo Auto Salon video (he didn’t even have an HD camera yet), and Josh’s name was pretty much unknown in the automotive scene. Man, have things changed – and in such a short amount of time!

Our own design guru Andy Sapp just sent me a link to Josh’s latest video, which showcases his coverage of the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational at Irwindale Speedway on December 4th. I’m pretty sure that pretty much everyone will agree with me when I say that this is the_best_video I’ve ever seen from the ‘Hobo’ from Las Vegas! Check the footage of Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta, Toshiki Yoshioka rocking the Driftspeed S15 Silvia, Alex Pfeiffer and the Battle Version SC300, Mike Essa in his M5-powered E92 BMW, and Tanner Foust getting sprayed at the podium once again! (more…)


GALLERY> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

Here are some more much overdue photos from Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Invitational. At first, “gymkhana” may sound like a martial arts discipline (to those unfamiliar with the automotive version) but it's actually a starting line and a finish line joined together by all sorts of interesting obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels which, when arranged just so, require a driver to perform all sorts of interesting maneuvers such as reversals, 180 and 360 degree spins, and figure 8s - all while racing against the clock. The reason I stressed that this is the automotive version is because, you may be interested to know, there is an equestrian version as well. As you can imagine, there's a lot less smoke - unless they figured out how to get a horse to do a burnout when I wasn't looking.   Read more...

COVERAGE> More MotorMavens Mass Appeal Show!

Here are some more overdue photos from MotorMavens Mass Appeal show... As everyone knows, our first Mass Appeal was part of the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational event. Unfortunately for the MotorMavens Crew, we were extremely busy and understaffed during the event - we weren't able to spend a whole lot of time on the gymkhana side, because we were busy handling things on our side of the event - the Mass Appeal! We did notice that there were lots of people walking around Irwindale, dressed head-to-toe in DC/Ken Block clothing. We were pretty surprised; we know that Ken Block's YouTube videos get millions of views, but to see all the fans rocking Block gear from top-to-bottom was pretty crazy.   Read more...

COVERAGE> MotorMavens Mass Appeal Experience!

When most people think of the term car culture, they immediately (and possibly unconsciously) picture particular types of cars in their minds - cars that fit their own personal spectrum of interest. That is car culture’s dirty little secret – it can be extremely balkanized, or broken up into little niches and peer groups.

If you’re into muscle cars, then screw those four bangers. If you're into rotary powered vehicles, then screw those pistons! If you're into road racing and time attack, then screw drifting. If you’re into Formula One, well, screw everybody. If you’ve been around car culture for any length of time, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You also probably know that not everyone feels this way. As we get a bit older and experience some of the great aspects of other car cultures, more and more of us are discovering that we’re all the same under the hood – we're all just car guys.

In the middle of 2009 when we started MotorMavens, we established the site on a basic principle – that everyone’s voice is validated by their passion for the cars and car culture because the one thing that brings the entire spectrum of car culture together is passion. We call it the “passion principle.” Wherever you find some mind blowing interpretation of the automobile and the lifestyle that revolves around it, you also find some passionate person wrenching away – usually with a ton of pride and satisfaction in his/her accomplishments but very little money to show for it. That’s exactly what the MotorMavens Crew searches for; we look for that passion in every possible niche of car culture so that we can broadcast it loud and clear to everyone when we find it.

So, what does all of this have to do with the Mass Appeal Show? It’s simple. When Ken Block and the Gymkhana Grid team approached us to produce a car show at their Ken Block Invitational, we already knew that it would need to be different than what most people might expect. We knew our car show would need to represent the driving principles of MotorMavens... the car show would have to be multi-car-cultural; reflecting the wide spectrum of car culture that we love so much. It would have to have mass appeal - get it?   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> We’re Back From Being Hacked!

Yuta Akaishi Shakotan slammed S30 Datsun 240Z 240 Alex Zhao AP1 S2000

MotorMavens readers (aka: our worldwide automotive family, supporters, and friends)! We’re back from being hacked! This malware attack on our website was crazy, and we’re still working to restore photos and functionality on the website. We apologize for the inconvenience – trust us, we’re just as pissed about it as you are! It screwed lots of things up on the website, and really screwed up the quick and easy carshow registration forms that we set up. It couldn’t have come at a worse time… right before our first car showMASS APPEAL at Irwindale Speedway this Saturday, December 4th!

A LOT of people have been asking questions about the Mass Appeal show. A lot of people have told us they have been registering their cars just because they don’t want to miss our very first show, and we love you guys for it!

Since Ken Block and Gymkhana Grid partnered with MotorMavens to find and showcase the west coast’s most stylish cars for the special project that Ken Block’s crew will be filming at Irwindale, we have invited some of the best looking street cars that have been featured (and not yet featured) on our website to this show! Mass Appeal is going to be an awesome gathering of friends and like-minded car owners. We can’t wait! We have LOTS of friends driving their cars from all over for this event, but we need to emphasize one point… The Mass Appeal Show is focused on QUALITY. The point of our show was to attract the dopest cars – not necessarily the shiny, high budget builds you see at SEMA (although we have quite a few SEMA demo vehicles registered). (more…)


NEWSWORTHY> MotorMavens Mass Appeal Show!

Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational December 4 2010 Irwindale Speedway MotorMavens Mass Appeal Car Show

YES!!! Are you excited?! I know I’M excited!

The MotorMavens Crew is finally doing its very own car show! MotorMavens was approached by the good people that are organizing The Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid event to bring the most stylish street cars and show cars to Irwindale Speedway on Saturday, December 4, 2010.

For this event, we plan to showcase the freshest cars that our friends and readers own for a massive MotorMavens streetcar party at Irwindale! Come out and chill with the MotorMavens Crew (and the MotorMavenettes), as we’ll be shooting an HD video of the car show to profile all the freshest street cars at the event! We will also have all the top automotive media outlets in attendance as well, scouting the best cars for magazine features. We’ve even received confirmations from overseas media – I’m talking the UK, Europe, Australia and even Japan!  This is so exciting!!!

If you own a super fresh, super stylish street car and/or show car, and would like to be included as part of the show, please make sure to pre-register your car at http://www.motormavens.com/massappeal/ to receive a limited edition MotorMavens x KenBlock Gymkhana Grid shirt and other gifts from our sponsors – DC Shoes, Monster Energy Drink, Discount Tire, Castrol Edge.

    The $40 Pre-Registration fee includes:

- TWO (2) tickets to watch the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid event itself (Valued at $50 ($25 x 2 tickets)
- Pre-registered car owners receive ONE (1) limited edition MotorMavens x KenBlock Gymkhana Grid tshirt. ($20 value) (more…)


COVERAGE> Gymkhana Block Party!

This weekend, while I was out of town handling some family business, drifting sharpshooter Larry Chen was out at Hollywood Park attending the media preview day of DC Shoes founder Ken Block's Gymkhana Invitational. I'm pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to make it to the event myself, as I absolutely LOVE gymkhana.

For those who don't know, gymkhana is kind of like a cross between autocross (slalom/solo racing in a parking lot, in a course laid out with cones) and drifting. Back before I started working the media end of the drifting scene, I was pretty active in driving at autocross events. It's fun, it improves your driving skills, and it's not too expensive.

Ken Block isn't the first person to try to organize a gymkhana event though. Erik Jacobs from DG Trials in Atlanta GA was the first person that I had ever heard of trying to make a series of drifting and gymkhana events... this was back around 2004 or so, when drifting was just beginning to blow up! To put things in perspective, back then, Vaughn Gittin Jr was still working on getting sponsored by Falken, and he was driving an S13 240SX, not a Ford Mustang!   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Ken Block to Switch Ovals


Photo c/o Modified Magazine.

Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Ham and burgers. What do these things have in common? It seems nearly impossible to have one without the other. Ken Block and Subaru also share this likeness. Regardless, it seems that Ken is leaving the Japanese Pleiades Oval for that of the classic American Blue Oval.

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 6, 2010 – Ford Motor Company announced today that it is teaming up with Ken Block, the California-based action sports icon-turned-rally driver, for future global motorsports opportunities.

Block, the 2005 Rally America Rookie of the Year and a three-time medalist at X Games, has cultivated a tremendous following with his Gymkhana videos on YouTube. In 2010, Block will campaign a Ford Focus in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and a Ford Fiesta in Rally America and X Games.

“I am stoked to be rallying in a Ford. They are an impressive force in the sport,” said Ken Block. “From the days of the 1970s Escorts to the Group B RS200 to the modern-day Focus and now the Fiesta, Ford just does an excellent job at rally and I couldn’t be happier to now be part of this amazing heritage. Not to mention my dad would be proud. He was a dedicated Ford guy.”

“Ken Block has established himself as an action sports competitor and a rising star in the world of American rally racing,” said Jamie Allison, director Ford North America Motorsports. “We are excited to have him on our team to help promote our new global products, the 2011 Ford Fiesta and 2012 Ford Focus.”

Rallying is a crucial part of Ford’s global motorsports strategy and provides the company with the opportunity to showcase the true performance capabilities of Ford’s products. Since its support of rallying began, Ford has won three WRC titles and 73 individual events. And, last year in North America, Ford’s participation in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and X Games 15 were key elements for the launch of the Ford Fiesta for the U.S.

“Thanks to our participation in WRC, rallying has always played a key role in Ford’s global motorsports programs,” said Allison. “Ford is the only manufacturer that could provide Ken with global rally opportunities.”

“We’re delighted that Ken Block has chosen to team up with Ford to develop his rallying activities beyond America and into the global arena,” said Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe’s senior motorsports manager. “Ford and its U.K.-based rally partner, M-Sport, is looking forward to welcoming Ken to the wider team of talented rally drivers using Ford vehicles to compete in this demanding sport at the highest level internationally.”

While it may seem implausible to imagine Ken piloting anything but a Subaru… something tells me that his wild antics and crazy style will follow suit behind the wheel of a Ford.

Best of luck to Ken and his crew in 2010!

:: Andy Sapp


VIDEO> Ken Block x Top Gear

In a world filled with viral videos, one man stands alone; his name is Ken Block.  With Ken’s recent Gymkhana 2 video success it was only appropriate that the UK’s greatest show Top Gear brought its cameras to US soil to capture the next chapter of Ken’s Gymkhana legacy. In this episode of Top Gear we see Ken dodge aircraft, fire trucks, cacti, and dangerously maneuver his ’09 Subaru STi Rally car through an airplane graveyard.  All of mayhem occurs as James May hangs on for dear life while riding shotgun. Enjoy!

:: Dax Rodriguez


NEWSWORTHY> DC x Ken Block Gymkhana Video 2 is up!

It seems that everybody has been talking and Twittering about the much anticipated release of DC Shoes Founder/rally driver extraordinaire Ken Block‘s new “Gymkhana 2” video.

We just wanted to show everyone this link – it’s finally up! Ken Block shows us all how hard he rips it in his new Subaru Impreza WRX STi! Instead of having members of his DC Snowboard team grind off of his carbon fiber WRC Impreza wing, Ken decided to inject a little bit of Hollywood into his newest viral video – aside from having a cameo appearance by Rob Dyrdek (DC skater, star of MTV’s Rob & Big and Fantasy Factory), it’s complete with explosions, crash test dummies, cool near misses with big rigs, cranes, pylons, and umm… he also comes really close to driving his car right off the dock, right into the water.

We wonder when he’s gonna take some time out of his already busy schedule (and full Rally America season) to compete in the Formula Drift series..? What do you guys think? Would you rather watch Ken Block at rally events or at drifting events?
::MotorMavens