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Sunday shots of podium and winners


Nov 202017

Gymkhana GRiD slays tyres and breaks records. Not only is it the only series where supercars, drift cars, factory prepared World Rallycross machinery and enthusiast tuned street beasts share the paddock and a track in anger. But in six short years GRiD has grown from hosting qualifiers in Europe and Scandinavia to shredding the tread with a lineup of multiple FIA world champions in the Adriatic and South Africa.
It has been a tense 12 month wait since Gymkhana GRiD last went live and loud in the metal in Athens. In all, close to 50 drivers rolled into Carnival City, Johannesburg eager to prove their worth in one of motorsport’s most unique events.
While we don’t need to tell you that the action at the inaugural South African edition of GRiD was hotter than a bushfire in the Savannah, we do need to tell you that the fans in the grandstands and the three million viewers on the globally unlocked livestream witnessed racing, tyre-smoke, flames and precision driving on an unprecedented scale. The smoking rubber on the blacktop of the #AutoCIRCUS powered by AutoTrader Festival are now the lasting reminders of what went down over an intense three days of horsepower filled mayhem.
What’s more an incredible All-Wheel Drive podium featured 2017 FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, multiple FIA World ChampionPetter Solberg and World RX star Andreas Bakkerud. In the Rear-Wheel drive class Luke Woodham shrugged off technical problems to become the series most successful rear-wheel drive pilot, with four consecutive wins to his name. Woodham was pushed all the way to the line by fellow racers travelling all the way from the UK, Adam Elder and Danny Cross.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Watch all the action on the exclusive replay of the livestream on the bottom, and then check out the inside line from the podium winning drivers below.

“This weekend has been the toughest Gymkhana GRiD to date. It’s been a real team effort to get this one – everyone has worked so hard and I’m really grateful. If you had said to me yesterday that I was going to be on the podium, then I wouldn’t have believed you. I had nothing left after a long day of qualifying. I’ve always been one to quite enjoy mind games with the other drivers, but this time I was just pushing and going absolutely flat out. I don’t know where the speed came from to be honest – I just dug deep. We had car trouble before the final, where the alternator packed up. The car was misfiring. After the earlier runs we had to switch out batteries and charge them between runs. Thank you to Baggsy and Terry Grant for their help – because I was really panicking! I just knew I had to go flat out. Props to Adam he’s been unbelievable all weekend and a great competitor. I never thought I’d be able to do this four times in a row.”

“I really don’t know what to say, I’m a little bit surprised that I was able to win to be honest! I knew our car was quick obviously, but Petter, Andreas and Ken are all fantastic drivers – and I honestly didn’t believe I would be able to beat them. There is just something inside my mind when I get into the finals of a race. I just really love it when the pressure is on and it’s all or nothing! I think Petter made a little bit of a different tyre choice at the end of the weekend, so maybe I just edged ahead there too. Overall I’m just so happy – thank you so much to Monster Energy and Gymkhana GRiD for having me here in South Africa it has been a fantastic experience. I’m grateful for every opportunity I get to race. I prepared as well as I could. Petter won the first time he came to GRiD, and now I’ve done the same it feels really good.”

“First of all I have to say to be a part of this event and see all of the local South African drivers that have made the effort to come here and compete is fantastic. We have a lot of support from everybody and it’s been really good fun. I walked around in the service park in between my races to look at all the cars that people have built and see the effort that people are putting in just to race. And that’s why I think Gymkhana is one of the best motorsport events in the world that lets people compete. Congratulations to Johan, he had a fantastic race – and it was well deserved. As I said before Johan is such a quick learner and whether that is good or bad for me I’m not sure yet. I think for next year we need to come up with a different plan; maybe we don’t invite him!? I’m very happy to get both Polos in the final again – congratulations to everyone and I’m just really happy to be a part of it all again!”

“Coming here to Gymkhana GRiD in South Africa has really been a blast. To go out onto the course and just have fun with the Ford Focus RSRX is awesome. It was a swan song for the car in a way and a little bit emotional. I’ve been smiling every day and all weekend though. On the press day to give the media rides was super fun, and yesterday during the smoke show demos I even had my mom in the car as a passenger. I’m just really happy that I was able to get a good result – I was worried a little bit before the weekend that we wouldn’t be able to compete so well in the Focus because of its size, but we got there in the end! This is our fifth podium of the year including the ones from World RX, so it’s a great way to finish the season. In my final race I actually beat Johan, but just touched a cone so got a two second penalty. I gave it everything I had like I always do, and it’s awesome to get the podium.”

“The whole event here in Johannesburg, South Africa was amazing – Monster Energy and the organisers have done an incredible job. We’ve been very quick all weekend, and by the end my time compared to the Volkswagen’s [Petter and Johan] were pretty close – it was only in the final stages that they edged us out. Then it came down to a battle between me and Andreas. I beat him on the first round and then we made a small change to the engine map on my car, which meant he just had the edge on track. It’s been tons of fun to drive, and even just to watch has been so much fun. I’m just stoked to continue Gymkhana GRiD and hope it gets bigger and better in the future! Thank you to all the fans that have come out to watch us race; it’s been an absolute blast!”