Rally racer and all around hoonigan Ken Block frequently sets the internet video world abuzz with his outrageous Gymkhana videos. These high dollar productions typically draw views in the millions, and are often the source of not just internet buzz but often make news on the national level as well.
With motorsports fans becoming more eclectic in their tastes than ever before, it only made sense for this year’s X-Games to offer up some Gymkhana action, in the form of the new Gymkhana Grid competition. This unique format allowed the audience to view competitors running on mirrored courses side by side. Each course was identical in it’s layout. This made for side by side competitive action, allowing the driver’s to focus on completing the course, rather than worrying about hitting each other.
Some of the biggest names in rallycorss came out for the event, including Block, and fellow Ford Fiesta rallyer Tanner Foust. While Block was a major player in organizing this event, it was Foust who walked away with the gold. Block says while he’s a little bummed about his performance, he’s excited that the event was such a success, and hopes for more than just one like this next year.
To say the event was a success would be an understatement. Gymkhana Grid drew more spectators than any other event for the automotive portion of the X-Games held at Irwindale Speedway. That may be due in large part to the simple rules, easy layout, and format, and fast-paced action of the Gymkhana Grid event, combined with the fact that the audience could easily view all the action of both competitors on the course simultaneously.
Is G-Grid the next big thing in motorsports? Could this be the next big success like Formula-D? Younger audiences are paying attention, and it could be a sign that the old forms of racing, while still a lot of fun, may be so played out that newer, younger fans are looking for something different, and exciting. We’ll keep you posted when we know about any more G-Grid races, as we’d love to see one of these wheel spinning, tire smoking events in-person ourselves.