Pirelli and American driving phenom Ken Block have teamed up with video game company Codemasters® to bring the pavement pounding thrills of Gymkhana to the small screen in the new driving game DiRT 3™.  The introduction of Gymkhana Mode to the upcoming DiRT 3 video game brings the sport popularized by Ken Block to gamers who can now mimic KB’s Gymkhana driving style in addition to the traditional rally racing format that the previous installments included.   Block’s hugely popular Gymkhana viral video series has garnered over 90-million views online and taken the world by storm.  The release of Gymkhana THREE Part 2 in 2010 featured the all-new Ford Fiesta gymkhana car fitted with Pirelli P Zero tires. For the new game, Block was able to lend his expertise to the Codemasters Racing Studio as a technical consultant during the development of the game, helping create an experience that embraces the free spirit of Block’s Gymkhana driving style. 

“I can remember being in Japan in the 1990’s when the first rally arcade game was introduced, playing it and thinking how cool it was that there was finally a game out for my favorite type of racing,” said Block. “Now, I’m actually in the epitome of rally racing video games. It’s awesome. The thing that makes DiRT 3’s Gymkhana Mode so revolutionary is that it’s the first time where a game isn’t demanding I drive a specific way, it lets me hoon around the way I want. It’s something I’ve always wanted to be able to do in a video game.”

“DiRT 3 is an extraordinary game that lets gamers give it all they have in developing their own winning driving style,” said Rafael Navarro, III, Director of Communications and Motorsports for Pirelli Tire North America.  “Pirelli has a storied history in rallying. We are active in over 20 rally championships worldwide and have led the way in series from the World Rally Championship to Rally America, Citroen Racing Championship to the X Games and Gymkhana.  Being involved in the development of DiRT 3 along with Ken Block is an important step in introducing our brand to more and more potential drivers in the marketplace.”

DiRT 3 is the first driving simulator that doesn’t put an emphasis on everyone driving the same, repetitive lines over and over again. Instead, the focus is on how well one can imitate Mr. Gymkhana himself as each player navigates his/her way through Gymkhana Mode’s DC Compound, sliding, jumping and rotating to satisfaction in Block’s own Gymkhana THREE Ford Fiesta fitted with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires. Users will have access to a selection of other vehicles with which to gymkhana, along with the ability to play in split-screen mode or online against friends in either a trick-format freestyle mode, or an open joyride mode. There will also be levels that feature competition events similar to Block’s own Gymkhana Grid competitions and an ability for players to create their own in-game footage highlight reels, similar to the Dirt3 Gymkhana Mode trailer released by Codemasters at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRtCQ2yPLWo .

Dirt3 is slated for a Q2 release.  Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE Part 2; Ultimate Playground: l’Autodrome was launched online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TshFWSsrn8 .

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets.  For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.