May 28th, 2020
Subaru of America today announced the return of the global Gymkhana video franchise to Subaru for 2020, with Subaru Motorsports USA rally and rallycross driver Travis Pastrana taking up the challenge from series founder and former Subaru rally driver Ken Block to put his own adrenaline-charged spin on the world’s biggest automotive stunt video series. Subaru will draw on its championship-winning rally and rallycross knowledge to provide the hero vehicle for the project, ready to shred tires and perform every over-the-top stunt Pastrana can imagine.
With both Pastrana and Block staying home with their families during the COVID-19 crisis, the two friends and former teammates have been competing to produce at-home stunt videos for their fans. Ken’s “Gymkhana GRiD: Stay at Home Edition” called out the Pastrana family, challenging Travis to film a better version at his home in Maryland. Pastrana’s rebuttal featured big dirt jumps, driving on two wheels and donuts around his personal WRX STI. Both drivers encouraged their fans to vote on who made the better video.
On Tuesday’s HOONIGAN Tangents Live show, the friendly jabs between the two escalated into Ken offering Travis the chance to film his own Gymkhana installment in 2020 with Subaru and the Hoonigan Media team. Pastrana and Subaru immediately agreed to the challenge.
“What Ken has done with Gymkhana over the years has really been amazing,” said Pastrana. “But I think he made a big mistake giving me a shot at doing one of my own! I’ve got some ideas that I think can blow Ken’s videos out of the water, and Subaru is on board to provide a car to do it. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be unlike any Gymkhana you’ve ever seen before.”
The first “GYMKHANA PRACTICE” video, filmed by Block in 2008, became an instant viral hit thanks to a 530-hp Subaru WRX STI and four minutes of thrilling all-wheel-drive stunts and tire destruction. GYMKHANA 2 arrived in 2009 featuring a new WRX STI hatchback, bigger and wilder stunts, and a follow-up GYMKHANA 2.1 co-starring pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek in a kart-based miniature STI. Since then, the franchise has grown to 10 main installments with more than 500 million total views, all starring Ken Block driving in locations like San Francisco, Dubai, Detroit and Sweden.
Travis Pastrana, Block’s 2005-2009 Subaru Rally Team USA teammate and longtime friend and rival, has his own history in Gymkhana with cameo appearances in the fifth and tenth installments of the series. With his background as a five-time U.S. rally champion, freestyle motocross pioneer, action sports icon and stunt expert—as well as being the mind behind Nitro Rallycross—Pastrana has the driving skills and the imagination to take the franchise in a totally new direction. His full-time rally return to Subaru in 2020 will now include the first Gymkhana video in eleven years to feature a Subaru vehicle.
“For years, fans have been asking for Gymkhana to come back to Subaru where it began,” said William Stokes, Motorsports Manager for Subaru of America. “With Travis on board and ready to put his own spin on the series, Subaru is up to the challenge and ready to turn his ideas into reality. We’re thrilled to be bringing Gymkhana back to Subaru and can’t wait to see what Travis is going to come up with.”
More details of the location and release timing will be announced at a later date.
About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Yokohama Tires, Method Race Wheels, DirtFish Rally School, KÜHL and RECARO. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.