Monday, December 6, 2010

Tanner Foust shreds at Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

by Michael Harley

When the smoke cleared this weekend at the inaugural Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid event at Toyota's Irwindale Speedway, Tanner Foust had claimed the top spot. The head-to-head event, which had drivers like Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr., Andrew Comrie-Picard and host Ken Block cording brand-new tires in a matter of minutes, pitted powertrains (AWD or RWD) in the same brackets to keep things interesting. After several rounds of eliminations, it came down to just Foust and Block for the final – both drivers in similar 550 horsepower AWD Ford Fiestas. In the best-of-three sprints, Block ran nearly flawlessly, but Foust demonstrated inhuman levels of car control (720-degree spins just inches from a barrel) to take the first two races and the resulting overall win.

On a related side note: Earlier in the evening, Michael Essa, driving GSR Autosport's 350R (a BMW V10-powered 3 Series), topped Vaughn Gittin to take the win at the Discount Tire burn-out contest. While other drivers spent their three minutes doing spins around the course, Essa simply cranked his steering wheel to the left and bounced off the rev-limiter (in third gear) until he disappeared into a thick gray cloud – liquidating his Nitto tires in 90 seconds of carnage.

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