“About five years ago, I found a photo on the internet of this crazy road made of multiple switchbacks that actually crossed over itself,” says Ken Block of Hoonigan Racing. “Before I even discovered where in the world it was, I knew we had to go film there. As we did more research, I realized we may have found the greatest road ever. It’s like a European tarmac rally stage—but turned up to 11—and, it’s set in a wild scene that looks stolen right out of the movie Avatar.” With that kind of a background, you can let your imagination run wild in regard to the latest Hoonigan video featuring Ken Block shredding China’s most dangerous road.
The road in question is the Tianmen Mountain Highway in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China. The road in and of itself is a marvel of engineering and hard work just in the fact that it was even made. Driving it as a normal sane human is questionable. Driving it like Block did is indescribable. The road climbs 6.7 miles and consists of 99 hairpin turns. Block’s first film featured the dangerous climb up Pikes Peak—this road is only half as wide in most places, and the drops are much more lethal.
Block isn’t the first to film a climb up the Tianmen Mountain Highway, but he is the only one to be able to do it in his unique and thrilling style. “Over the past couple years,” says Climkhana TWO’s Director Brian Scotto, “a few other projects have been filmed in the region, but we really wanted to bring our unique style of filmmaking and Ken Block’s wild driving to this road to show it in a way it hasn’t been seen before. This road is amazing, but also very unforgiving, which ironically is its best attribute.”
The video shows just how narrow and sharp the corners are, with Block drifting through the turns and coming literally within inches of taking out the guard rail on just about every one. “The juxtaposition of this massive American pickup truck and that tiny road was just too perfect,” states Block, “even if it made it way harder and sketchier for me to drive.” The video is eight minutes well invested.