Ken Block is to get his first taste of Formula 1 machinery later this year when he drives Pirelli's Toyota test car at Monza in August.
The WRC driver, who is famous for his online Gymkhana videos, has tied up with the Italian tire manufacturer for the run that is scheduled to take place on Aug. 5, the final day of a three-day test for Pirelli. The test will be Block's first proper run in a top-spec single seater - and he is set to prepare for it with a trial in Toyota's F1 simulator.
"I never imagined that something like this would even be available," Block said. "But Pirelli saw the idea of doing something unique and different with me. They have been a great partner with me for everything I have been doing, so it is just something that for me is a dream come true. I have so little experience in open wheel asphalt, so it will be a huge learning experience for me."
Block said he would have to do some intense preparations beforehand, which would include on his fitness and learning the Monza circuit.
"I'll do a lot of neck exercises," he explained. "I am going to be doing two days in the simulator in Germany to get familiar with the steering wheel and what the car does, and also getting to know the track.
"On top of that, we are talking about a couple of creative ideas of ways for me to learn the track – maybe bringing the WRC car over, as it is two weeks before WRC Germany, which is an asphalt event. It is going to be a lot of fun."
And when asked if this was a precursor to a future F1-based Gymkhana video, Block said: "I am going to see what I can talk them in to. Obviously it is a very expensive car, but I have asked a few questions and they have given me some funny looks. I will see what is possible."