Gymkhana GRiD South Africa: The Action Report!

Thu, 7th December 2017

Our good friend Dmitrij Sribnyj attended the recent Gymkhana GRiD Final in South Africa a couple of weekends ago, and in between being the top independent racer over the whole weekend, he sent us tons of awesome photos and a complete report on his amazing weekend in Johannesburg! 

4 days of intense motorsport action started with a 12-hour flight from London's Heathrow airport, the busiest airport in Europe! Then it was a quick transfer to the hotel in Carnival City just outside of Johannesburg, which was just a 5-minute walk to the track. The air was very fresh and the warm, sunny weather was great!

Then it was time to reunite with the SCR Scooby Racing Clinic race car, which had been carefully packed into a shipping container some 6 weeks before! Unloading the car and setting up the race area was very straightforward - everyone pitted under a line of huge white tents that protected the drivers and the mechanics from the blazing sun. 

The first day was general preparation and checking over the car, before the Thursday media day, which gave time for everyone to give passenger rides and have a first taste of the amazing Gymkhana GRiD Final track! 

The Gymkhana GRiD track is actually 2 tracks set up in a mirror image of each other. Two drivers at a time line up, each facing their own reversed track layout, and watch a dragstrip style set of lights count down to the starting gun.

Every Gymkhana GRiD track is different and there's always a fresh new challenge to stump the drivers and make it extra hard! This year's track featured the longest starting straight in Gymkhana GRiD history, leading into a tight first corner where the drivers turn away from each other. The extra-long starting straight meant that cars with the most power would have an immediate advantage, then the track demanded smooth transitions between obstacles and smart power delivery to complete the technically challenging course. Each pair of drivers runs both courses, swapping sides after the first race, then the times are combined - fastest time wins! 

Making it tougher for Dmitrij was his gearbox failing at the end of the media day, meaning his crew had to swap in a new gearbox so he could practice the following day, then rebuild the original gearbox so it could be installed for use on Saturday! All in a weekend's work! 

At the end of Saturday, Dmitrij was qualified 5th overall out of an original 60 entrants in the AWD category. Only 46 cars made it into the qualifying for Saturday and Dmitrij only had the super quick World RX supercars ahead of him, driven by current WRX champion Johan Kristofferson, former WRC and WRX World Champion Petter Solberg, Head Hoonigan Ken Block and his teammate (in his final event for Hoonigan Racing Division) Andreas Bakkerud! So Dmitrij was sitting with some pretty weighty company! 

On the final day, Sunday, it was the Top 16 knockout battles, leading up to the final races that were broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook!

 

Dmitrij's first race was pretty easy, as his competitor had a broken differential and couldn't start, but his next race was against Andreas Bakkerud in a full WRX race-spec Ford Performance Focus RS RX supercar! Unfortunately, Dmitrij's Subaru is quick, but not quick enough to hang with a top-level race-prepared supercar, so that was the end of his race weekend, but top independent racer behind the 4 most expensive machines at the Gymkhana GRiD Final is very very good! 

To read Dmitrij's complete blog post about this weekend, head over to his website, right here! 


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