The last time we checked in with Ken Block, he had just finished driving up and down sand dunes in Utah, a bit of a departure from the more urban settings that had defined most of the Gymkhana videos to that point.
In the latest addition to his oeuvre, Block teams up with Toyo Tires to revisit the middle-of-nowhere theme with a video that sees the stunt driver tear up Colorado’s Pikes Peak in the methanol-fueled Hoonicorn, a highly modified much-turbocharged AWD ’65 Mustang.
Now, Pikes Peak isn’t actually that remote, located just outside Colorado Springs, but it is notable for its 14,000-foot-plus (nearly 4,300-metres) elevation. At that altitude, only a turbocharged engine will be happy inhaling the thin air, and indeed Block’s Hoonicorn appears to have no qualms about the lack of oxygen.
This might be the most hair-raising Gymkhana outing yet, thanks to the winding road to the peak lacking guard rails in places where you’d think there really should be some.
Nevertheless, like any seasoned racer, Block uses the entire width of the road, drifting around a particularly pucker-worthy corner with rear wheels a matter of inches from a steep drop-off. In a talk at the video’s premiere, held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA, director Brian Scotto said the scene in the film was only their second take, but he was sure it would all go “horribly wrong” as he watched Block perform the stunt.
Other highlights include Block doing donuts around a running helicopter that takes off mid-drift, and an amusing bit at a safety brake checkpoint.
Enjoy the video; we challenge you to watch the entire thing without clinging to the edge of your seat.