As you can probably tell from Monday's video and various "On the Road" segments of the Car Tech Podcast, I love burning a little rubber. So when I saw this video floating around the blogosphere of Ken Block drifting his Crawford Performance Subaru Impreza around a rather unconventional course, my jaw literally dropped. Here's a guy who elevates the simple act of turning tires into white clouds of smoke to an art form.
It's called Gymkhana and it is a sporting event popularized in Japan and practiced in the United States and the UK. The event is similar to autocrossing in that it takes place on big empty area, often a parking lot or airfield, with a course marked by cones. Gymkhana courses are often much more complex than your average autocross layout and often require complex maneuvers such as reversing direction or performing 360 spins around a cone.
I used to practice a form of Gymkhana late at night in mall parking lots, except without the cones, marked course, or sanctioning body. This, of course, attracted the ire of mall security and, eventually, local law enforcement, bringing an end to my amateur Gymkhana career.
That's all good and well, but for purposes of enjoying today's video, all you need to know is that if you like tire smoke, powerslides, and high-speed tomfoolery, you can expect to be amazed. I won't spoil too much for you, but I will share that four-wheel drifts, a couple of 360 and 180 degree turns, and a Segway are involved--that's right, a Segway. Enjoy.