Hollywood

Special edition of Subaru's 'Launch Control' details building of Travis Pastrana's 2020 STI

The specialized car delivers over 800 horsepower.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

A new two-part miniseries details the building process of the wildest Subaru ever constructed. The multi-episode arc is the capstone of Season 8 of the award-winning "Launch Control" documentary series and is entitled "Road to Gymkhana".

In May 2020, Subaru made the announcement that it was returning to Ken Block's popular "Gymkhana" video series with Travis Pastrana behind the wheel of a specially configured Subaru. It wouldn't be Pastrana's first trip around the "Ghymkana" block. The five-time U.S. rally champion, freestyle motocross pioneer, action sports icon and stunt expert has made cameo appearances in the fifth and tenth installments of the series.

"Launch Control" features "Road to Gymkhana" miniseries

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

According to a release, the episodes break down as follows:

"The miniseries' first episode picks up on a challenging Day 1 of the Annapolis shoot and tells the story of the early build in a series of flashbacks—from initial planning and design in the shadow of early COVID-19 lockdowns, to the challenge of transforming a production Subaru shell into a high-flying Gymkhana machine, including the development of a custom 862-horsepower Subaru Boxer engine for the project.

"Episode 2 covers the remaining three days of the shoot as Pastrana and the Subaru Motorsports USA team deliver more of the video's signature stunts—including the high-speed country road jump, the dock-edge slide, and tandem donuts with a cameo from teammate Scott Speed—while delving deeper into advanced aerodynamics and the high level of detail needed to complete the build."

For Pastrana's WRX STI, Subaru paired with Vermont SportsCar to push a production-based sedan to the limit of what was possible. The exterior of the car features a cabin body with a "wildly aggressive" wind tunnel-proven aero package. Its custom-made Subaru boxer engine sits under the hood. It also has a flame-spitting hood exit exhaust, long travel suspension, and a race-ready interior built to Pastrana's specs. It rides on Method wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan tires.

"Gymkhana 2020 was my chance to take the series in a direction no one had seen before, and Road to Gymkhana is beyond anything fans have seen from Launch Control," said Pastrana. "The level of engineering that went into building this crazy STI, and the effort from the Subaru team to make it happen, especially with everything 2020 threw at us, it was just massive."

The award-winning "Launch Control" documentary series returned December 2 for its eighth season. The show airs on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. Season 8 picks up where Season 7 left off with the Subaru team having just won the rally and rallycross championships but the future of the team is uncertain with drivers changing and COVID-19 taking hold.

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An Infiniti Q60 drifts at Yokohama Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

A new film showcases the drifting capabilities of a heavily modified Infiniti Q60. The coupe currently competes in the domestic top-tier drift championship in Japan even though the sports coupe is not sold there.

Before reaching the docks in Japan, the car was heavily modified having started its journey in America. The car was built to show off renowned restoration specialist Tatsuhiro Shibata's passion for the Infiniti brand.

The video features Shibata and his driver, Koudai Sobagiri putting the The hand-built model to the test and showing off near Infiniti's world headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The closed course near Yokohama Harbor served as the set.

"In my eyes, the Q60 was the best looking of (the Infiniti lineup), but they didn't sell any in Japan. So we had to go to the U.S. to find one," Shibata says. "It's simple; I just wanted a good-looking racing car."

Tatsuhiro Shibata's Infiniti Q60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

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This isn't the first time that Shibata has imported an Infiniti to Japan. His passion has led him to do so for the last decade. Shibata is not directly affiliated with Infiniti.

Following the film, Infiniti plans to release an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film and the Shibata Infiniti Q60. An exclusive story about Shibata's workshop, Sobagiri's path to drifting, and more will be released along with the behind-the-scenes film.

1,000HP INFINITI Q60: Drifting at the Docks www.youtube.com

The release of the film comes as Infiniti is playing catch up with much of their business plans. Amid falling sales and the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for two new models to be introduced had to be push to 2021 including the 2022 Infiniti QX55 and the forthcoming redesigned QX60.

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The New York Red Bulls youth development academy is profiled in a new docuseries.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Season two of "The Academy" documentary miniseries is a "go". Audi, Bleacher Report, and Major League Soccer (MLS) have teamed up to film a second in-depth look at the footie organization's youth development program. This time around, they're putting the focus on the New York Red Bulls MLS Academy.

Each of the participants in the Academy is being trained and tested in hopes of becoming first and foremost a member of an MLS team, but they also could be part of a national team, or even head overseas to play in the Premier League or other organizations. Last year, filming followed the youth that are a part of Sporting Kansas City's efforts.

The Red Bulls MLS Academy is one of the 94 North American academy clubs that have strategically aligned themselves with MLS's player development platform. During the 2019 season, MLS invested $70 million in the program. As of April 2021, Audi has committed more than $2 million dollars to MLS Academies across North America.

"The Academy"provides an all-access look at the commitments and raw talent of young athletes as they follow their dreams to become professional soccer players. Highlighting the youth talent development system used by every MLS youth Academy in North America, the series gives fans a first-hand account of top players who join an MLS club as early as 12 years old.

Prominent New York Red Bulls personalities featured this coming season include New York Red Bulls Head Coach Gerhard Struber, Academy Director Sean McCafferty, Academy Coach Samuel Castellanos, academy stars like Tyler Adams and Sean Davis, along with Academy players Austin Brummett, Sam Joseph, Serge Ngoma, and Nicholas Rabiu.

The all-access five-part series has debuted exclusively on the Bleacher Report app and will be available across all B/R Football channels.

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