Gymkhana 9 rejection: NSW Police respond

Ford Focus RS - Ken Block

Cops confirm Ken Block's Gymkhana 9 could have been filmed on streets of Sydney.

THE NSW Police have responded to comments requested by Wheels regarding the report Ken Block’s Gymkhana 9 could have been filmed in the Sydney Central Business District.

Wheels asked NSW Police to confirm:

  • An approach to film Gymkhana 9 in Australia
  • The locations requested, and the length of access needed to produce the video
  • The reasons behind NSW Police’s decision to not offer support for the film to be made here
  • If the film’s producers offered to provide an anti-hooning public service announcement in return for gaining permission to film Gymkhana 9 here

NSW Police sent back a short, three line response, which confirmed an application, stated the company in question later withdrew that application, and nothing else.

“A private company did apply to the NSW Government to film an event in Sydney,” the statement said.

“Following discussions the company later withdrew their application.

“For commercial-in-confidence reasons it is not appropriate to discuss the matter further.”

Ken -Block -Ford -Focus -RS-drifting -sidewaysIt was revealed on Tuesday by US site Jalopnik that Block and his Hoonigan Racing Team were knocked back from filming at a number of locations around Sydney, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and near the Sydney Opera House.

Matt Tuccillo from Hoonigan told Jalopnik: “The police down there [Australia] started to make things difficult with the permitting process for the locations we were trying to secure, both public and private.”

“Apparently we were going to be ‘bad’ for Australia and as we got closer and closer to filming we started to lose more and more locations that we had secured, ultimately forcing us to abandon the concept.”

The news that Ken Block was turned away from filming on Australian shores caused outrage on social media, with many pointing to the potential tourism benefits of having Gymkhana 9 filmed Down Under.

“Gee we are so weak minded here in Australia. Grow up NSW police and coppers in general. Not everyone that views these videos is a so called hoon. It’s only the small minority that wrecks it for the rest of us,” one user wrote.

To see what we missed out on, watch the final Gymkhana 9, filmed in the USA below.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!