Ford Fiesta Flips Donuts in SF
July 10, 2012 8:23 AM   Subscribe

DC and Ken Block present Gymkhana FIVE: Ultimate Urban Playground; San Francisco -- Or what happens when a drifting master gets free reign over SF streets. I have been wondering who put those donut-shaped tread marks on the Bay Bridge. Previously... Previouslier... Previousliest
posted by cman (69 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Did you accidentally a link?
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:24 AM on July 10, 2012


Maybe you meant this?
posted by koeselitz at 8:26 AM on July 10, 2012


Yeah, looks like the primary link is only a partial. Maybe you meant to link to this?
posted by KGMoney at 8:26 AM on July 10, 2012


Shakes fist at koeselitz...
posted by KGMoney at 8:27 AM on July 10, 2012


Rein, man.
posted by RogerB at 8:27 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or maybe to this?
posted by box at 8:27 AM on July 10, 2012


Ok, yeah, probably theirs.
posted by box at 8:28 AM on July 10, 2012


[Fixed the presumed link. cman, let me know if it was in fact something else.]
posted by cortex at 8:31 AM on July 10, 2012


Naw, I think cman probably meant this.
posted by koeselitz at 8:31 AM on July 10, 2012


I want to know how much it cost to get those roads closed down for the shoot.

Also, after watching this latest video, it was funny to see his previous video feature another form of transportation in place of the motocross guy.
posted by exogenous at 8:33 AM on July 10, 2012


This video looks like how my kids make nachos. A lot of hurry without much speed and the place ends up a mess.
posted by DU at 8:34 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think you'll find that this is the correct link.
posted by elizardbits at 8:35 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next time they close the Bay Bridge, I hope they let me go and do donuts on it.
posted by zsazsa at 8:37 AM on July 10, 2012


I skipped around a lot, but starting from the jump just after 5:30 it gets really great.

Also that jump at 5:30 ish is insane.
posted by oddman at 8:38 AM on July 10, 2012


Finish line should have been into a Pay 'N Spray.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:40 AM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I liked the split-screen at 5:15, and the Travis Pastrana bit.

More SF sightseeing.
posted by box at 8:45 AM on July 10, 2012


Oh I see I made the same pony joke last year, how embarrassing.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd love to see somebody drag race down the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It's pretty much impossible to drive across the thing without imagining somebody doing it at 150mph.
posted by schmod at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Starting at 4:31 is just a couple of blocks from my house, and I happened to be coming home one day after work when they were (taking a break from ) filming. I didn't feel like hanging around to see exactly what they were filming, but the tire marks on the street are still impressive. And beginning at 5:08, he drives *up* the crookedest street in San Francisco (VERMONT STREET REPRESENT!), which is certainly a different way of doing it!

(Here is someone's random video of Bring Your Own Big Wheel, an annual event on Easter Sunday in which people ride Big Wheels - and recycling containers, and other things - down that section of Vermont Street. It's a lot of fun to watch.)
posted by rtha at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hey, what a worthwhile reason to close down a big chunk of a city and risk damage to public and private property! Selling shoes!

Oh, wait, no. I'm thinking of "saving thousands of lives". That's a great reason to do something like this. Not the shoe thing.

Reminds me of the time a crane smashed up a centuries-old granite sun clock at Machu Picchu while they were filming an effing beer commercial.
posted by gurple at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2012


OK, that was pretty insane. But not as insane as SF's annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race. These guys drift race down Vermont St., with only three wheels, and dressed as luchadors. Or giant birds, or whatever.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 8:55 AM on July 10, 2012


Nice use of a bunch of GoPros for an interesting shot
posted by jaimev at 8:55 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, jumping sideways and then continuing the drift after landing is just some damn fine driving.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


My knowledge of San Francisco's geography isn't all that great, but does he teleport from Telegraph Hill to Twin Peaks at the end?
posted by schmod at 9:04 AM on July 10, 2012


The part just before Twin Peaks is Potrero Hill.
posted by rtha at 9:07 AM on July 10, 2012


Any idea when this was filmed? I can't believe I'd miss the closure of the Bay Bridge.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:07 AM on July 10, 2012


The Potrero Hill part was filmed pretty recently - last couple of months, anyway - and they could have shot the Bay Bridge sections at some point when the bridge was closed for retrofitting work, so also this past spring.
posted by rtha at 9:10 AM on July 10, 2012


I will be so disappointed if the sequel to Dirt 3 does not have a San Francisco stage.
posted by The World Famous at 9:12 AM on July 10, 2012


I can't be the only one who thought of this
posted by cottoncandybeard at 9:12 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any idea when this was filmed? I can't believe I'd miss the closure of the Bay Bridge.

For the last few years they've been closing the Bay Bridge in at least one direction over Memorial Day, Labor Day, and sometimes Presidents' Day to do major work on the new eastern span.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 9:20 AM on July 10, 2012


I must be getting old, because I'm one of those people who likes cars, and I just don't get it. Flying down the street at 90MPH and then you... stop and do figure 8s for a while? The whole point of this style of driving seems to be "Look, I'm in a movie car chase!" but then doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose if you just go in circles? I mean, the cops will totally catch you if you do that.

The jump scenes were pretty cool, though. Jumping looks like it's bad for cars, even cars that were presumably built to handle jumping.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:21 AM on July 10, 2012



Wouldn't that be bad for your tires?
posted by notreally at 9:21 AM on July 10, 2012


While I recognize and appreciate the sheer amount of driving skill Ken Block displays, I gotta be "that guy" and say, I just don't get drifting.
I mean, give me a freshly snowed parking lot, and I'm a teenager all over again, but watching it just makes me say, meh.

On the other hand, I've know heard of DC Shoes, so I guess the commercial did its job! heh.
posted by madajb at 9:24 AM on July 10, 2012


I'd like to have seen him tear through Portola starting at MacLaren Park on Mansell and then down some of the side streets towards Portrero--those streets give the streets in Nob Hill a run for their money re: grade. Needed more Twin Peaks; O'Shaunessey to Glen Park would also be pretty awesome.
posted by smirkette at 9:24 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Suddenly I have an urge to dig out my copy of Driver: San Francisco.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:24 AM on July 10, 2012


While I recognize and appreciate the sheer amount of driving skill Ken Block displays, I gotta be "that guy" and say, I just don't get drifting.
I mean, give me a freshly snowed parking lot, and I'm a teenager all over again, but watching it just makes me say, meh.


I agree with you generally, in that I cannot stand to watch actual drifting competitions and that sort of thing. But what Block is doing here really is not drifting in that same sense. The figure eights and donuts bore me to death, too, but the demonstration of rally car control in some of the drifted corners and curves calls to mind the very functional controlled drifting that is necessary in rally racing, which I don't find boring at all.

I'd really prefer to see a video where Block or someone else (Loeb, perhaps) just storms through a complex route through San Francisco on a pure speed run. Because a drift for the sake of drifting is nowhere near as impressive as a drift that actually gets the car where it's going faster. Like this or this, for example.
posted by The World Famous at 9:34 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dude must be making a fortune. He sold the company, but I bet he still has plenty of stock. Now he's the Brand VP or something.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:39 AM on July 10, 2012


I'd really prefer to see a video where Block or someone else (Loeb, perhaps) just storms through a complex route through San Francisco on a pure speed run.

This would be quite the sight.

As it is, it reminds of the pointless powerslides on Top Gear.
posted by madajb at 9:43 AM on July 10, 2012


I can't believe I'd miss the closure of the Bay Bridge.

The bridge wasn't fully closed during filming, the CHP did rolling traffic breaks for the four takes it took to get those shots (so explained the local TV news last night).
posted by jamaro at 9:46 AM on July 10, 2012


Someone played a lot of San Francisco: Rush
posted by hellojed at 9:48 AM on July 10, 2012




The problem with Ken Block is that, despite his flashy driving, he hasn't done so well in world-class professional racing, a la the World Rally Championship. His last several years have been highly disappointing, especially considering how much money was thrown at winning. From 2007-2012, the best place he finished in was 19th.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Block#Complete_WRC_results

At the same time, the 10-year-old in me loves these videos, though I know Loeb & Co. are just smirking over in Europe.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 9:58 AM on July 10, 2012


I'd really prefer to see a video where Block or someone else (Loeb, perhaps) just storms through a complex route through San Francisco on a pure speed run.

That'd be far, far more risky than the Block gymkhana stuff. Pre-planned drifting through various sequences is much easier to plan and just throwing the car around and making it look good leaves a lot more control on the table than trying to carry maximum speed through a prescribed route.

Basically, the more smoke and noise the car is producing means it isn't going as fast as it can and is using brute force to generate the car angles and allows the driver to do much more accurate placing of the car compared to drifting a car for maximum speed. Despite the visuals, it's actually pretty controlled compared to full on rally racing.

The problem with Ken Block is that, despite his flashy driving, he hasn't done so well in world-class professional racing

Yeah, he has solid car control skills, but he isn't that good when you put him up against a serious professional rally (or circuit) driver. He is good at Gymkhana, but falls behind in full competition. He's the Danica Patrick of sideways driving - all flash and great visuals, not so much substance when it comes down to it....
posted by Brockles at 10:02 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't understand what this has to do with gymkata.
posted by The Tensor at 10:07 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem with Ken Block is that, despite his flashy driving, he hasn't done so well in world-class professional racing, a la the World Rally Championship. His last several years have been highly disappointing, especially considering how much money was thrown at winning. From 2007-2012, the best place he finished in was 19th.

True. Nevertheless, Block is one of only four Americans ever to score points in WRC, and he scored points just a few weeks ago. So that's something.

Pre-planned drifting through various sequences is much easier to plan and just throwing the car around and making it look good leaves a lot more control on the table than trying to carry maximum speed through a prescribed route.

That's all true. But how awesome would it be to see a more capable driver than Block caning a Group B car like mad through San Francisco? It could even be done in segments and edited together. Just the appearance of a flat-out run in a Group B Lancia Delta S4 over San Francisco's hills and twists would be awesome.
posted by The World Famous at 10:09 AM on July 10, 2012


Sure there are a pile of rally drivers who are faster than Ken Block, but none of them are as good at marketing as Ken Block. Even though his finishes are lackluster on the world stage, he's a crowd favorite everywhere he goes.

If you can get other people to pay you real money to drive a race car for a living, you're doing something very right.
posted by freq at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not sure what the big deal is. I did all this in GTA 3:SA with traffic and a five star wanted level.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:45 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping this would end with (or at least include) a scene of him driving really slowly down Lombard Street just like every other effing tourist who drives into San Francisco.
posted by chavenet at 10:50 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Real rally driving is difficult.
posted by basicchannel at 11:04 AM on July 10, 2012


Real rally driving is difficult.

It certainly is.
posted by The World Famous at 11:11 AM on July 10, 2012


Yeah, this had to have been shot on multiple different days over different locations. There's no way they could shut down that many major traffic points in the city all at the same time.

What I really want to see is the details of the insurance rider and how much it cost. Granted, they were probably just operating under a filming permit like any movie with some car chase scenes and stunts.
posted by loquacious at 11:17 AM on July 10, 2012


none of them are as good at marketing as Ken Block

Hmmm. Some of them do really quite well, actually. In fact a lot of them do. After all, the marketing teams behind all of the major international rally stars (after all, no driver does it themselves) seem to do well enough to finance tens of million pounds a year in rallying and testing. So they aren't slouches and generate higher budgets that Block has. They just don't market to the general public like Block does so they aren't as visible.
posted by Brockles at 11:32 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


A couple weeks ago, in this thread about skateboarding, I said

It has to be one of the best uses of "The City" you could ever have.

Well, this certainly is an interesting use of the city.
posted by victory_laser at 11:45 AM on July 10, 2012


Hey, what a worthwhile reason to close down a big chunk of a city and risk damage to public and private property! Selling shoes!

I assume they paid the city a pretty penny for the privilege -- and the city definitely needs money.
posted by treepour at 12:05 PM on July 10, 2012


Wonder how many other people are getting massive flashbacks to playing Midtown Madness 2.
posted by ZsigE at 12:17 PM on July 10, 2012


So he's slow, he hits stuff, ruins his car, but looks cool.

…wait, are we talking about the gymkhana video or his WRC career.
posted by danny the boy at 12:37 PM on July 10, 2012


This is what is looks like when Ken Block is really racing.
posted by arcolz at 12:48 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the making of this video.

And from a local column back in May:

'Furious Fiesta: Drivers on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge may have noticed a series of circular tire streaks midway between San Francisco and Treasure Island - the kind laid down by someone burning doughnuts.

And that's just what they are.

The marks were made over the weekend by a Ford Fiesta being filmed for a commercial.

"We do commercials all the time," said Officer Tony Tam, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

As for the appropriateness of advertising a car doing doughnuts on the bridge?

"They pay," Tam said, "so we let them do whatever they want as long as it's within the permit."'
posted by gingerbeer at 12:50 PM on July 10, 2012


Oooh, ooh, do my town next! I want to see donuts around the Minster and taking on the cobbles of Stonegate. Also, a zip through the Shambles would be sweet.

As for SF, my wishlist would have included more parking garage exits, a romp thru levels of 5th & Mission, a scream down the Great Highway, some FasTraks around the toll bridge collection booths, and a lovely 4-wheel picnic in Yerba Buena park.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2012


The whole time I was wondering how many tires and small cameras were destroyed in the making of this, but then I realized two of his sponsors are Pirelli and GoPro, so I guess he has an inexhaustible supply.

Also, I quite enjoyed the video but I wish the editors hadn't chosen to lean so much on the fake "signal breaking up" effect thingy, which is fine I guess in small doses but when you do it constantly it becomes annoying as shit.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm so clueless that a few years back I noticed all my kids friends wearing Dolce and Gabbanna sneakers, and was blown away that parents would spend money on kids footwear like that. Then I noticed the Fed-Ex driver wearing them, the copier repair guy and my Starbucks barrista.

I then asked the kids about it, they just rolled their eyes. My wife laughed at me.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:01 PM on July 10, 2012


Local CBS affiliate interviews Ken Block about the video.
posted by jaimev at 2:02 PM on July 10, 2012


Sorry for the bad link, thanks mods!
posted by cman at 3:03 PM on July 10, 2012


I'm so clueless that ...

Hah! I hadn't figure it out until this post. I have, until now, associated that logo with Dolce & Gabbana. Had no idea DC Shoes was a thing. I blame Jeanne Beker, FT, Animotion (guess that was when I still had a television) and my general a(d)version to brand awareness.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 5:25 PM on July 10, 2012


I'm fairly certain that several of those turns, including the sideways jump turn, were part of the SF courses in Project Gotham Racing 5, which I built a racing cabinet to play. That guy is much better at those turns than virtual-driver-me was.
posted by cmoj at 9:01 PM on July 10, 2012


Correction: PGR 4
posted by cmoj at 10:19 AM on July 11, 2012


Okay, some dumb, slightly-curmudgeonly questions:

1. How long do those skidmarks stay on the streets of San Francisco? (or other streets, for that matter?) I'd be surprised if the same folks who complained about graffitti art in their city didn't have a similar beef about donut skidmarks and street closures for DC advertising purposes.

2. How much cash and influence has to be mustered to pull off the sort of street closure that was done here? This was presumably shot early in the day on a weekend, but I'm sure a lot of strings were pulled. Was this stunt sold principally as promotional value for the city, or did some significant cash change hands?

3. Any idea how much DC Shoes Co.'s annual earnings were last year. My quick searches only found figures for 2004.

4. Why wasn't Gymkata as well-received as Gymkhana?
posted by SenorJaime at 1:49 AM on July 12, 2012


1: There are rubber marks on most streets. I suspect they'll last for maybe 2 months. Perhaps longer with no rain. The more traffic, the less time they'll last.

2: One of the comments above states that San Francisco regularly rents out sections of the city for filming purposes as a revenue and promotion generator. I suspect the content is not really much different to the city than filming a car chase for a Hollywood film or similar so it's just one more film project.

4: I just watched the trailer. I... don't understand the question. Why WOULD a crappy 80's B movie be better received?
posted by Brockles at 5:34 AM on July 12, 2012


The marks on the street near my house are still there. I was going to post a photo for you all the other day, but they're quite faded now and would be hard to distinguish from the shadows cast by electrical lines, I think.
posted by rtha at 5:59 AM on July 12, 2012


SenorJaime: "Okay, some dumb, slightly-curmudgeonly questions:

1. According to the local TV segment linked above, part of the deal is that they had to clean up after themselves, including the tire marks. I suspect this wasn't logistically feasible on the bay bridge, since it was a rolling blockade.

2. According to the same segment, SF received about a million dollars.
posted by danny the boy at 10:17 AM on July 13, 2012


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