You always remember the first. We decided to upload the full story of the first ever Speedweek event. We will be loading other parts of The Rod Shop as well. so stay posted.
Climbkhana is the next generation of Ken Block’s wildly successful and award winning Gymkhana series of viral videos. The all new concept is a hybrid of the driving showcased in the previous films, blended with a rally-road style attack on unique roads around the world. To kick off this new series, Ken Block chose what is arguably the most famous road out there: The Pikes Peak Highway outside Colorado Springs, CO.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the most well known hill climb in the world, Billed as America’s second oldest, continually running race (the Indianapolis 500 is first), it’s also one of the first places Block ever raced in his career.
“When I was young, I caught the The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on TV once or twice,” said Block. “Even as a kid I remember dreaming about racing there some day because it looked so epic. Eventually I did, back in 2005, but it was in a Group N rally car which didn’t have much power up in that high and thin air! It was an underwhelming experience because of the horsepower issue, but I loved the road and mountain – and I had always wanted to go back and do it right. So, to drive it like I get to drive in my Gymkhana videos – and do it in the Hoonicorn with 1,400 horsepower – well, that truly is a dream come true!”
For Block, filming Climbkhana at Pikes Peak was a unique opportunity. While the road closes once a year for the Hill Climb, no one has ever been given the access to turn the landmark location into a playground. For production duties, Block once again brought his long-time friend and business partner at Hoonigan, Brian Scotto, to direct, but they also added a new face to the Hoonigan Media Machine formula: Eight-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Champion and Radical Media Director Jeff Zwart.
“I have raced at Pikes Peak for 16 years and through the years I thought I had seen everything, but to witness Ken’s skills on basically my home mountain and get to direct him at the same time, it was truly something amazing,” explains Jeff Zwart, Climbkhana’s co-director. “Nothing but respect for him and his whole team, both on the racing side and production side!”
To tackle the extreme elevation gains experienced along the way up Pikes Peak, Block knew that he needed more horsepower for his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR. So, Hoonicorn V2 was born. A 1,400 horsepower, twin-turbo, methanol-fueled machine that lights up its sticky Toyo R888R tires in every corner and properly updates the infamous build made famous in Gymkhana SEVEN, Wild in the Streets Los Angeles. Unfortunately, extreme engine builds and altitudes can prove challenging. Block and his crew experienced multiple production setbacks, having to go to the mountain on three separate occasions over 12 months due to both weather and development issues to be able to finish the film.
“This car is insane,” said Block. “I feel it genuinely wants to kill me! Before we added the twin turbos, it was the most fun car I’ve ever driven. Now it’s still quite fun to drive, but it melts tires ridiculously quick. To have this thing be such a beast and then take it to this very dangerous mountain, well, I thought I’d maybe finally taken on a project that might be too much for me to handle. This is the most powerful AWD-type car in the world to be driven this way, so I’m genuinely glad I didn’t die making this video!”
The film was produced by Hoonigan Media Machine and is presented by Toyo Tires, Ford and Pennzoil.
At the Kyalami race in November 2007, Clare Vale became the first lady racer to race in the premier national WesBank V8 Supercar series. In March of 2009 at the WesBank V8 race at Kyalami, she became the first lady racer to take pole as well as lead a V8 race. Clare also became the first lady racer to have a podium finish in WesBank V8 Supercar history: at the historic East London Grand Prix circuit Clare finished a podium 3rd place in October 2010.
She then moved to the drifting motorsport discipline, becoming the first female driver to participate in the Supadrift Series. After moving between circuit racing and drifting during the 2012 season, she has since been focusing on National drifting.
Her Mustangs produce serious muscle, 600hp and 450kW of power. These engines make the V8 Supercars the fastest saloon cars in the country, and Clare’s General Tire Drift Mustang is powered by the same engine, making it unique in South African drifting. The team has also developed a Subaru BRZ sponsored by Continental SA which will compete at the Knysna Hill Climb for the first time in 2016. This car will compete in a number of selected events during the year.
Clare won her first race during the Springbok series at the Killarney circuit in 2006, racing a Shelby Can-Am sports car. She has raced in the national Shelby Can-Am series as well in Production Cars Class A, in a Subaru STI. She has also raced a Porsche 917 in the International Sports Prototype class, finishing 2nd in the Championship in 2011 despite missing a number of races.
Off circuit, Clare is a director of The Truck Man in Boksburg, dealers in used trucks and trailers. She has taken on the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre – De Wildt as a personal cause and is a past President of MSA’s (Motorsport South Africa) Women in Motorsport Panel. She has been nominated twice for the Colin Watling Award for service to motorsport.
In 2010, she was appointed as a Road Safety Ambassador for the Road Safety Foundation and in 2011 was appointed as Chairperson of the Women in Road Safety Forum. She is an ambassador for Continental SA’s Vision Zero road safety initiative.
CEO Magazine awarded Clare their Regional Winner award for the SADC Region for achievement in the Sports Sector in 2014. She is a motorsport contributor to SA Hot Rods magazine, Wheels24 online and motoring journalist for the RunRideDive website.
Clare Vale’s sponsors include Continental Tyre SA, General Tire SA, ContiTech, Auto Glym, Liqui-Moly SA, Neo Tools, ATE and ZF Sachs.