Video: Ken Block’s High-Flying Finland Vlog
by Zack Klapman
I am very envious of Ken Block. After making a shitload of money with DC Shoes, he now gets to live out all his automotive fantasies. Gymkhana began as playtime on 4 wheels, and we now where that’s gone. Ken wanted to get into rally racing, and because of who he is, he gets to. He can probably even write it off as a business expense.
But as anyone who has been to a track day knows, money can’t buy skill. I’m not saying Ken Block isn’t a talented, skilled driver. But the competition in the WRC is made up of the absolute best drivers on the planet. The other guys in the pit have probably been driving like this-and possibly even some of the very roads they’re on- for decades. Rallying is in the blood of Europeans; a recessive gene much like ginger hair and OCD. Some people have commented on Ken’s lack of podiums, or his crashing. I believe this stems from Ken’s domestic success, and more than that, his internet gigantism. We see someone on a pedestal, success they found relatively quickly, and expect that rate of ascension to continue. But as Ken explained on Shakedown, he’s lucky just to be there and be competing. The other drivers get more training and testing than him. He’s very humble about the WRC, and knows his place, and how hard it will be to advance.
We get another look at that in his behind-the-scenes-vlog. Unlike other drivers, Ken’s show doesn’t sound like it was named after a canceled outlaw-driver-with-a-heart-of-gold TV show from FOX, but it gives you a little look at his travels with the WRC. And that means cars flying through the air.
In this episode, Ken goes to Finland. Known for it’s high-speed courses, numerous jumps, and being the well of championship rally drivers, it must be an intimidating place for a relative newb. One of Finland’s stages holds the record for highest average stage speed, as well as longest jump. Think 6th gear, WOT, with jumps, for 20 minutes. Ken describes it as a rollercoaster, and he’s on point. That’s why Ken went for a ride with Jari-Matti Latvala; one of the fastest drivers this season. He shows Ken how Finland is done: at high speed with big air, and giant balls. Make the jump for the video.