Car video reviews:
Gymkhana - Drifting and Hooning Cocktail
Gymkhana is a complex and memory-based motorsport competition, with the events being timed and / or speed races that take place on courses with numerous obstacles such as barrels, cones or tires. The driver’s main goal is to get through the course as quickly as possible with the fewest number of mistakes. While this might seem a bit complicated, the result brings tons and tons of fun for everybody involved, as well as for the public.

Gymkhana - Drifting and Hooning Cocktail

As we said, Gymkhana is an action-packed, precision-based sport. A well prepared car for Gymkhana needs to be able to accelerate violently, it needs turning quickness and agility to cut the corners and the driver has to be able to fully control it. Gymkhana represents any sport or athletic event based on gymnastics exhibition, so the cars and drivers really need to do their best in order to raise up to its definition. It can easily be summed up as a hybrid of autocross and drifting, but whereas in autocross you have to achieve fluid motion without losing the traction, Gymkhana features and encourages drifting through the turns.

On the predefined track the driver must perform 180 and 360 degree spins, precision parking using the e-brake, J turns, 8 figures and many others. Slaloms and parking boxes are also commonly used in this type of competition. Given its level of difficulty, the driver requires mental concentration and memorization of the sections. To effectively navigate a course he will repeatedly use handbrake techniques, drifting and sliding, as well as left-foot braking to balance the car through the corners.

Typically in Gymkhana the driver uses the first and second gear, but in Ireland and UK the reverse gear is also necessary. The length of a course measured in time is somewhere between 45 to 90 seconds, depending on the difficulty of the track.

Nowadays, professional rally driver Ken Block is the one that revived Gymkhana in order to promote his company, DC Shoes. He had participated in many sports including motocross, snowboarding and skateboarding but he became world-known after his Gymkhana footage went viral on the Internet. It was also promoted by a PC video game made by Codemasters - Dirt 3. In the game you could jump, powerslide and spin-dry through obstacles on different tracks, set in many locations across the globe.

Gymkhana brakes down in three big classes: stock, modded and sport. For each class the cars are sorted by their engine displacement, engine layout, powertrain choices and other specific rules. Based on the classes, anyone can participate, from everyday cars, such as family sedans and hatchbacks, up to competition, purpose-built vehicles. Let's go through this classification together:


The first in the stock class is the A1 in which you can participate if you have an FF (front engine and front wheel drive) layout and an engine displacement up to 1.8-liters. The A2 is for the 1.8-liters+ engines and the other classifications are B and C. In B you’ll have B1 and B2 groups for FF (front engine and front wheel drive) and RR (rear engine and rear wheel drive) engines up to 2.5-liters. And C is for AWD (all-wheel drive) and splits also in two groups C1 for engines up to 2.5-liters and C2 for powerplants that pass that mark.

In the stock class you’re allowed to mount aftermarket wheels, to use limited slip differential (LSD), change the brake pads, clutch disc or the cat-back exhaust but the engine and suspension must remain unmodified and nothing has to interfere with the chassis stiffness.


Here the cars go up a level and that’s how we like it. The groups go from M1 to M4 classified if you have the FF, FR, RR or AWD. The accepted modifications are: aftermarket ignition system, interior removal, nitrous oxide, aftermarket suspensions, lightened body panels, the brake system, the exhaust and others.


This class is the ultimate one with no limits for the engine capacity, exhaust system or the suspension preferences. Drivers that participate in the sport class can use unibody or tube framed body and it’s not mandatory to register the car.

Again, we’re getting back to Ken Block, the Gymkhana’s promoter in our era. His four Gymkhana videos have managed to gather over 14 million views on Youtube, so you can imagine how much he's done for this sport - You can take a look at these clips below.

Ken’s Block Gymkhana legacy has even gone beyond him, as the series of videos became the target of a parody called Gymkhana 0.2. It’s a low budget but really nicely done video that was published on the Internet not long ago and also managed to go viral. The crew that managed the project wanted to demonstrate that you don’t need a top performance car in order to perform stunts and have tons of fun. The “Ken Block Gymkhana” inspired video features a 1986 Ford Fiesta with probably has less than the 56 HP it came with. The video was a real success as it currently has almost 850,000 views and has managed to make its point.

Block started the Gymkhana series with his Subaru Impreza WRX STI with 565 hp (572 PS) and then used a modified Ford Fiesta MK7. Because he’s involved in numerous rally disciplines, he needed a vehicle his team could easily prepare for him. His Ford Fiesta Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle (HFHV) was developed for rally competitions like stage rallies, rallycross and Gymkhana. It has a 2.0-litre turbo powerplant capable of producing 600 hp (608 PS) and 900 Nm (665 lb-ft). It’s a real torque monster, so it’s no surprise that the car’s tires end up smoking badly during a Gymkhana racetrack session. We have to tell you that HFHV’s engineers said that the car could even be street-legal if they set it up adequately.

We also have to tell you that Gymkhana's secret lies in... having fun. We're pretty sure that the driver is enjoying a lot of explosive feelings and emotions while performing all these stunts and this is what he passes on to those who see the end result, this is what makes the whole thing so spectacular.

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