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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 16 2012, 3:00 PM

Stéphane Peterhansel has achieved his tenth Dakar victory, this time in a MINI All4 Racing. A seasoned veteran of the two-week long race, Peterhansel won his first Dakar at the age of 21.

His victory car this time around was a MINI All4 Racing built by German tuner X-Raid and was designed to look like a MINI Countryman even though it shared almost no stock parts with the production countryman. The All4 Racing weighed in at 4,100-lbs and featured a 3.0L twin-turbocharged diesel powerplant with 315-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The engine was mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox while the car itself packed tons of high-tech race parts including water-cooled rear brakes.

The 2012 Dakar Rally took place over 5,500-miles through Peru, Chile and Argentina. Second place went to Nani Roma, who was also in a MINI All4 Racing and third place went to Giniel De Villiers in a Toyota Hilux.

 |  Nov 30 2011, 6:00 PM

Valentino Rossi is clearly a warrior on all things two-wheeled. Rossi won his first 125cc championship in 1997, a 250cc World Championship in 1999, a 500cc World Championship in 2001, back-to-back World GP Championships in 2002 and 2003 with Honda, and another back-to-back in 2004 and 2005 with Yamaha. It would take until 2008 for Rossi to recapture his title, but he had no problem retaining it in 2009.

Despite a disappointing season in 2011 for Ducatti, Rossi is still first in all time 500cc / MotoGP race wins with 79 victories. And while we don’t expect Rossi to hand up MotoGP anytime soon, he did proclaim that he sees himself racing in rally sometime in the future.

I’ll do a few more years in MotoGP, then I’d race in rallies: these machines are really fun to drive because they have less electronics,” said Rossi.

For the 2011 edition of the Monza Rally Show, Monster Energy and Rossi put together a three-car team and shot a video of Rossi behind the wheels of a WRC Ford Fiesta. And despite not having a ton of time behind the wheel, Rossi showed off why he’s one of the fastest things on wheels (two or four) by finishing second in two race formats behind multiple WRC champion Sebastian Loeb.

Check out a video of Rossi piloting a Monster Energy WRC Fiesta after the break.

[Source: Autoblog]

 |  Dec 02 2010, 10:25 PM

After claiming this year’s Formula Drift championship, Vaughn Gittin Jr. is looking to further expand his driving resume by participating in this weekend’s Gymkhana Grid event at Irwindale Speedway. His weapon of choice will be Ken Block’s old 1978 Ford Escort Mk2, now sporting Monster Energy Drink livery.

For those not in the know, Gymkhana Grid is presented by Ken Block, known for his ridiculously awesome gymkhana videos. Several of Formula Drift’s top drivers will be in attendance, including Gittin Jr.’s Falken teammate, Daijiro Yoshihara, Matt Powers, Ross Petty and Joon Maeng, just to name a few. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by Irwindale Speedway to get your motorsports fix until next season starts.

[Source: Wrecked Magazine]

Still confused about Gymkhana Grid? See after the jump for a quick promo video:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 16 2010, 10:17 PM

There was certainly a lot of hype around Vaughn Gittin Jr’s Ford Mustang at the beginning of this year’s 2010 Formula Drift season. The newly built 2011 Ford Mustang, with help from sponsors Monster Energy Drink and Falken Tire, featured every bit of experience Gittin and his team has developed over the years of drifting American muscle. And all the hard work has finally paid off as Gittin Jr. has taken the 2010 Formula Drift championship.

This past weekend, the season finale took place at Irwindale Speedway. And while Vaughn Gittin was clearly the leader in points, Tanner Foust and teammate Daijiro Yoshihara still had an outside chance of taking the championship. But Gittin wasn’t letting off the gas anytime soon facing two-time champion Tanner Foust in the grand finale. Even with the championship locked down at that point, Gittin put on a show for the spectators, taking Foust to a one-more time battle. Ultimately the Irwindale event would belong to Foust with Gittin still taking home for the 2010 championship.

This season was a dominating one for Gittin Jr and his Falken Tire / Monster Energy Drink team. He found the podium at six of seven events showing just how much experience pays off. So a huge congratulations goes out to the Falken Tire team for finally locking down a championship and we look forward to seeing what they have in waiting for 2011.

Official press release available after the break.

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 25 2010, 8:45 AM

The marketing forces that control Ken Block’s driving career have taken the legendary Gymkhana video series that he stars in to a whole new level. The problem is, that new level isn’t in the direction we’d hoped.

The genius of the Gymkhana videos is that they marketed Block’s sponsors like DC Shoes and Monster Energy Drink using a clever and entertaining bit of automotive shenanigans that achieved internet fame in a truly viral way. Having left Subaru and moved over to Ford, there’s been quite a buildup to the Gymkhana 3 video. Instead of delivering as promised, the new installment isn’t the paint-splattering, florescent light-busting, tire shredding insanity of the past two. Instead its a music video previewing the actual nonsense (Part 2) that is set to drop in September. Worse yet, its an incongruous mix of urban pop culture with the rather un-urban DC Shoes brand.

The video itself is really just a music video by a group called The Cool Kids, with very little Ken Block hoonage and plenty of offensively obvious logos. Like past Gymkhana’s the video starts with a disclaimer that states it is, “a blatant but cleverly crafted marketing scheme to sell products.” Blatant, yes. Clever, hardly.

I you’re still interested, check out the video after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 09 2010, 2:23 PM


We think the more interesting question to ask these days is, “What hasn’t Vaughn Gittin Jr. done with the Ford Mustang?” Sure Gittin wasn’t exactly Ford’s first choice when handing the Mustang’s keys over to a drifter (Ken Gushi Jr. had that privilege) but it’d be really tough to find someone to say he isn’t the right choice. From drifting worldwide and leading the current points championship in Formula Drift, Gittin Jr. has really broken the mold and brought Ford’s Mustang to the forefront of the action sport world.

And just when we thought we had seen it all from Gittin and his rockstar-like antics, he has teamed up with MTV’s Rob Dyrdek and his Fantasy Factory show to conjure up a car skateboard park. Many may know that Gittin Jr. himself was a skater and loves action sports, so merging the two passions together almost seemed natural to him, no matter how unnatural it is to the rest of the world.

Another Ford Mustang seems to have been built that replicates the look of his drift Mustang, but setup to tackle the half-pipe rather than Irwindale Speedway’s outer bank. Even Dyrdek took some seat time and had some wicked fun in his creation.

Check out the official press release from MTV and do not miss the video after the break.

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 09 2010, 2:32 PM


When spy photos first showed up on the Internet of Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s new 2011 drift Ford Mustang, many were curious on why it didn’t sport the atypical Falken Tire paint scheme. We knew he was out testing with the rest of the team, so it was clear that his “secret sponsor” would be huge and probably wanting priority on the colors campaigned on the car. So when Gittin finally debuted the car sporting an all out Monster Energy scheme, we applauded. It’s the perfect fit for the brand, throwing themselves into the mix of energy drinks that are already flying colors through Formula DRIFT competition.

Monster Energy Drink is famously known for sponsoring Ken Block, gymkhana-extraordinaire. His over-the-top videos have shocked the world and garnered the attention of millions with a simple click of an upload button to YouTube. Gittin Jr. has a similar personality as Block, driving the wheels and tires (literally!) off his Mustang in previous years of competition. Gittin has also become the poster child for the Ford Mustang Drifting-brand, having done much in his off-season to promote the Mustang chassis. He even showed off his own RTR-C Mustang at SEMA 2009.

The exterior styling of the 2011 Mustang has been changed to resemble Gittin’s RTR-C variation on the street. His relationship with HRE Wheels has always been outstanding, so it’s no surprise that he’s sporting some new ones. Falken Tires is now campaigning a new RT-615K tire for their drift team. Other than that, while the new 2011 Mustang sports a 5.0-liter V8, this drift ‘Stang still uses a 4.6L supercharged V8 from last season, laying down well-over 600-hp. The great news is, Justin Pawlak (who previously drove the Bergenholtz RX-8 we reported on earlier) will be driving Gittin’s 2010 Mustang in competition this year. Plenty of American muscle swinging sideways! We’re excited to be at Formula DRIFT Long Beach this weekend!


Gallery: 2011 Falken Tire / Monster Energy Drink Ford Mustang


Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta Rally Car Unveiled

Former Subaru rally driver will race this mean Fiesta in the 2010 Rally America Championship

 |  Jan 26 2010, 10:57 AM


Above is one of the first images of a very mean looking Ford Fiesta that rally car driver and stunt man Ken Block will pilot in the 2010 Rally America Championship. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and putting power to the ground using all four wheels, this custom built rally car is built by Swedish race shop Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution – the very same outfit that Ford’s Pikes Peak hillclimb cars, which were raced by the likes of Marcus Gronholm.

As is rather obvious from the car’s livery, Block continues to be sponsored by Monster Energy Drink.

Block has also signed on with Ford to race a Ford Focus rally car in the WRC (World Rally Championship) series overseas.

Block will debut his new Fiesta rally car this weekend at the Sno*Drift Rally Atlanta, MI.

GALLERY: Ken Block Ford Fiesta Rally Car


See after the jump for video of Ken Blocks’s new Ford Fiesta rally car:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 14 2009, 10:41 AM


We haven’t laughed this hard in a while! The folks at IMV Films, known for illegal stunt drive movies like Vehicular Lunatics, have just released an amazing parody of the high-budget Ken Block Gymkhana video and this bit of cenematographic genious is anything but. While it might not be as visually stunning, it is outrageously funny, especially when the part where the team spoofs the paint-balling scene in Block’s second Gymkhana video opting instead to use a fake member of the Taliban and some roman candles. But we won’t ruin it for you… watch for yourself.

Unlike Block’s big-budget Subaru/Monster Energy Drink commercial, the team doesn’t use a fancy rally-prepped Subaru WRX STI, but rather a completely beat-up  Subaru 2.5 RS. The IMV team also didn’t bother to rent out a private facility, instead opting to do all their shenanigans on the open road, endangering not only their own lives but the lives of everyone around them.

We do not condone this behavior, but thanks for the laughs.

[Source: IMV Films and]