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29 Oct 2012

RX aces at Gymkhana Grid

Category: Miscellaneous, News Posted 29.10.12 17:27 by

The final 2012 Gymkhana Grid event was held at Santa Pod in the UK. With Ken Block and Liam Doran two Rallycross drivers were involved. The Briton and the American entertained the crowd in clouds of tyresmoke.


Text: © WvdW


This year it was for the first time that the Gymkhana Grid competition visited Europe, with qualifying rounds in France, Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom earlier this season. The set-up of a Gymkhana event is quite simple. Two drivers race each other, side by side on a compact course. The competition is run in both, a RWD and an AWD class. At the course drivers drift around marker cones and other obstacles. The fastest driver scores points, the most points lead to a place in the final. The winner takes the honour as well as €5,000.


Learn to drive on tarmac

Ken Block started in Gymkhana to practise racing on tarmac. “For we have no tarmac Rallies in the US, only gravel stages. But I wanted to practice sliding a car on tarmac. And from all motorsports I compete in this is by far the cheapest form. It is safe and nice to the cars powertrain. And it creates great opportunities to slide around and control a car.” Gymkhana Grid will return to Europe next year. “We potentially make it bigger. Hopefully on even bigger and faster tracks,” claims Block.


Leaving on a jetplane

Originally it was planned that the Santa Pod Gymkhana Grid winner would take up on Block himself. But this changed as the Global RallyCross Championship regular needed “to leave on a jetplane” in a hurry for the SEMA event in Las Vegas next Tuesday. Block will also compete in next year’s GRC series, as he told ERC24. The YouTube superstar drove his first Rallycross event when he competed in the X Games. A great opportunity for him. “Because I love the aggressive way the cars are driven, especially in the Group B years. It is just a very cool way to race an AWD car,” says Block. The Vegas event on Tuesday means racing in two completely different events in just a few days. This is no problem for both, Liam Doran and Block. “Since I compete in Gymkhana, X Games, the American Rally Championship, WRC and GRC, I just get in the car and do it,” tells the American. And the Briton agrees. “No if you are a good driver that is no problem at all,” says a relaxed Liam with a grin on his face.


Thirty tyres

For Doran, who also is going to compete in Las Vegas, it was the first Gymkhana event as a competitor. “I enjoy it because I love to drive sideways and go stupid with a car. I really like driving my Citroën DS3 SuperCar here,” states the Englishman. The constant accelerating, braking and sliding is no problem for the Rallycross cars. Because the tyres have little grip, there is no stress for the drivetrain and the clutch of the cars. Except for them tyres. “Because the car is constantly sliding I use no less than 30 of them this weekend,”  the runner-up of this year’s European Rallycross Championship told ERC24.