Gymkhana GRiD is coming back to Europe this season, and will take place in Poland. Are you excited? What are you expectations?
To be honest I think it’s going to be one of the best Gymkhanas we have ever had. It’s been in Spain before and that was really good. But when Gymkhana was in Spain, it was a little bit smaller than it is now. The event got stronger. There are more drivers attending and there are bigger names coming. Then it went to UK. The venue was ok, but the weather was terrible. It was really cold, windy, it was raining. That puts a little bit of a damper on the event. Then it’s gone to South Africa, which was fantastic, but I feel like we were not able to really make the event as good as it could be in Poland. I feel like the atmosphere is going to be insane. A lot of Polish people will come and watch the event, national drivers will attend and again I think it’s going to be on another level. Every year Gymkhana GRiD is getting better, better and better. And this year with the jump that it’s going to Poland is going to be really, really good. I think it is going to be really interesting. Going back to some of the drift events that I’ve done in Poland and remembering how busy they were I think it will be really good.
What‘ s the best thing about Gymkhana GriD from a drivers perspective?
I really enjoy the event for two reasons. One, it is very technical, so it is very challenging for the car and yourself. You have to make sure the car is setup very well. It’s against the clock, but you also have make sure that you don’t risk too much, because if you hit the objects it gives you a time penalty, so it’s kind of a risk for reward kind of situation. You have to make sure you risk as much as possible, but not too much that you don’t screw your run. At the same time it’s a cool track, the layout’s really good, you get to race another guy, you’re trying to beat him and you are racing yourself. That’s really exciting from a drivers perspective.
When you’re driving are you thinking about the race or is your mind blank?
When it comes to Gymkhana I try to map it out in points. So I know that point 1 is get to here on the track, and then I have to get from point 1 to 2, 2 to 3. Then I’m just thinking about getting the car to here. I’m exiting from this point, so I need the car in this position then turn, brake, accelerate, brake, turn. I’m trying to remember everything that we’ve done during practice to get the fastest time, so that we can be super competitive. With drifting you can have a little bit less control, but with Gymkhana you have to be on point every time.
What is your strategy at GRiD this year, and who do you think will win?
It’s a tough one. We’ve been working with a new tire company, so we’re planning to bring them along to Gymkaha GRiD. We’re hoping that with the new tires we’re using we could be really competitive. In 2017 we made Top 8. In 2018 we made Top 4. In 2019 we are hoping we can get to the podium. There’s some really good drivers though. I know that some of the local Polish drivers are entering. I know Daigo Saito is coming back, Luke Woodham will be obviously looking for a good result. He’s got a lot of podiums at Gymkhana GRiD, so he’s one that you can’t rule out. Everybody’s going to be looking at Daigo Saito. He came in last year, first event and he put some really good times down and managed to win the event. It is going to be a challenge to beat him, but at the same time I’ll be interested to see when the final driver results are lined up to see who from Poland is going to be there. If some of the drivers from Drift Masters enter Gymkhana GRiD, I think it is going to be though.
What do you think about Oliver Solberg?
Well unfortunately he’s in 4-wheel drive, so I don’t get to race him, but he’s a good kid. He’s a lot of fun, amazing behind the wheel and he makes me laugh a lot. When we hang out he’s always taking the mickey out of his dad, making jokes. He’s very young, but when you talk to him he actually has an older head on his shoulders.