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DEARBORN – After starring in the most watched automotive video of 2010, Ken Block and DC’s Gymkhana THREE, Ford Fiesta is back as the reoccurring star in the next chapter of Rally Driver Ken Block’s Gymkhana video series, which debuted on You Tube, click here to watch.
DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana FOUR; the Hollywood Megamercial (GYM4) is the latest installment in the series of Block’s popular online videos, and was filmed on the back lots of Universal Studios Hollywood and shows the modified Fiesta doing stunts that only Block can deliver.
"When Ford partnered with Ken Block for the Fiesta and WRC rally programs, Gymkhana was an attractive and unique part of the overall package,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “Ken’s Gymkhana series connects with enthusiasts around the world and communicates that spirit of fun-to-drive with Fiesta. With over 36 million views for Gymkhana THREE, Ken and his Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta were featured in one of the most watched online automotive videos of the last year.”
Block, Monster World Rally Team driver and DC co-founder, sees the opportunity to push the limits of his car control while maneuvering around a series of cones, slaloms, 180-degree and 360-degree and figure-eight turns and other obstacles, all while utilizing extreme acceleration, braking and drifting, as pretty much the definition of fun.
Always a source of great speculation leading up to the launch of the latest Gymkhana, the location for GYM4 was Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA. It was selected because it offered an amazing variety of locations that could be utilized in creating an over-the-top chapter of the Gymkhana franchise. It also made it very easy to incorporate high-end production quality and one-up the levels seen in Gymkhana TWO.
"Gymkhana is just one of those things that I really love doing, especially with my new Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V racecar," said Block. "This is my second year with Ford and my race cars have been working great. My newest Fiesta, the H.F.H.V., is the highest spec car I have ever had and the fact that it'll do what I need it to do for Gymkhana and then it can transform into either a rallycross car or a stage rally car is awesome. Plus, we weren't easy on it at all during filming for Gymkhana FOUR and it just kept asking for more!”
The GYM4 Fiesta, was unveiled by the Monster World Rally Team prior to X Games 17 at Block’s Gymkhana World Tour stop in Los Angeles. Designated the H.F.H.V. Fiesta (Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle), it is purpose built to transform between the specialized set-ups required for Gymkhana (stage rally and rallycross), thus the Hybrid designation by the Monster World Rally Team.
The chassis of the H.F.H.V. Fiesta is based on M-Sport’s current 2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, but in order to achieve the power outputs required for both rallycross and gymkhana, the 1.6L engine has been replaced with a Pipo Moteurs-built 2.0L, inline-four cylinder. This mill is based off the powerplant found previously in the Ford Focus RS WRC car, a motor that has over 10 years of development. The result is a massive 600hp and 665 ft. lbs. of torque when using the 45mm restrictor. While the 2.0l engine makes the H.F.H.V. ineligible for WRC competition, the addition of a 34mm restrictor will allow the car to compete in the Rally America series. Engine management is handled by Cosworth Electronics.
Mated to this 2.0-liter Ford motor is a custom AWD system designed by Sadev. The drivetrain features a 6-speed Sadev sequential transmission and three adjustable Sadev mechanical differentials. Different gear ratios are used for each of the Hybrid’s three modes. To handle the varying surface conditions, specific Reiger suspension set-ups have been developed for each of the three modes.
The transformations from each of the modes range from half a day, to a whole day’s work. The rallycross and gymkhana set-ups are the most similar, but each discipline still requires different gear ratios, entirely different suspension settings, as well as a different wheel and tire combinations, in addition to engine mapping adjustments. The conversion to stage rally, however, is even more involved, including an entire relocation of the cooling system from back to front, a smaller brake set-up, and the addition of a Recaro Ultima seat for a co-driver, a smaller turbo and items such as functional headlights to replace the faux lamps to make the H.F.H.V. road worthy.
The GYM4 H.F.H.V. Fiesta was a collaborative project between the Monster World Rally Team and an assortment of some of the world’s top technical partners.
The process started with a production 2011 Fiesta before going through the rally conversion. The production Fiesta is an excellent platform for the Gymkhana car. The nimble ride and the ultra-high-strength boron steel body are ideal for the demands of the Gymkhana course. A testament to the Fiesta platform is that Fiesta has been designated as Ford’s worldwide rally car in both WRC and RallyCar, and in the Global RallyCross Championship and European RallyCross.
The GYM4 H.F.H.V. Fiesta, designed by DC, is emblazoned with a “drip pattern” livery that features elements seen in Block’s Monster World Rally Team WRC Fiesta.
In his time with Ford, Block has maintained a high profile within the Ford Racing program, appearing in several national promotions like “Rock it Like Block” and “43 Fiestas,” as well as being one of Ford Racing’s most popular drivers.
Block is a key component and prominently featured in the comprehensive promotional campaign supporting the new Octane Academy initiative. The Octane Academy is the consumer outreach tied to Ford Racing’s Action Motorsports program in which consumers can submit a video at www.octaneacademy.com and be selected to participate in a driver developed four-day action sports weekend, a true “once in a lifetime experience” over the next year. The participants will vie for the opportunity to win a custom vehicle designed by their host driver.
“If Ken is involved in a program, his legions of fans passionately follow whatever he is doing,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company Group Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Service. “There aren’t many personalities in pop culture that can generate tens of millions of views on YouTube, let alone personalities in motorsports. Ken's ability to connect with his audience is unparalleled and Ford is proud to have Ken on our team.”
DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana FOUR; the Hollywood Megamercial can be viewed at http://youtu.be/btViXvIDsi0.