ESM cannot help but notice that over on YouTube a LOT of people are talking about a certain video. No, not the one ESM featured last week, or even the baby monkey riding on a pig. The internets are currently very into this one:
Over 21 million viewers (as of today) can’t be bad surely? Well, I guess not. But, for whatever reason, I just don’t really buy into the whole Ken Block/Gymkhana thing.
Undoubtedly I appreciate that the level of skill and car-control to do the things Block does in that video are incredible. Jumping the hills of San Francisco sideways whilst drifting?! That is genuinely insane. Doing doughnuts on a floating barge also takes tremendous faith in knowing where the car ends and the water starts.
Ken is certainly talented behind the wheel of a car, doing stunts and yanking on the handbrake. Does this make him a great racing driver? ESM would be inclined to say “hmm, well, probably not dude”. His performance on the WRC circuit has been sporadic; typically only competing in half the rounds throughout the season. His best actual result has been 8th on last year’s Rallye de France. An impressive result in isolation, but Kimi Raikkonen managed better even with his whimsical approach to rallying.
Block and his Ford Fiesta have also seemingly created a generation of drivers who think sticking huge Monster energy drink stickers to random bits of their car will give them his level of car control. Essentially, it’s no cooler than sticking a picture of the Tetley Tea Folk to your back bumper.
So before ESM turns into too much of a boring old man, here’s one of Block’s good friends (Travis Pastrana) doing a ridiculous jump in a Subaru Impreza from a couple of years ago. Enjoy: