For this year's Gymkhana GRID, Monster Energy took the event to Johannesburg, South Africa. This marked the first time that GRID had ever been held on the continent and proved to be the biggest and most exciting GRID to-date.
Spread across an action-packed 4 days (media day, open practice day, two competition days) in sun-drenched Johannesburg, the competition drew competitors not just from South Africa, but all the way from Europe and the U.K., including multi-time rear wheel-drive champion Luke Woodham. The all wheel-drive class also saw both Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud competing (Block in his Ford Fiesta RX43, Bakkerud in the Focus RS RX rallycross car) side-by-side in their final competition as teammates. Other stars joining in the all wheel-drive class included Petter Solberg and current World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson.
"I'm blown away but how much this event has grown," said Block. "When Monster first started hosting these for us, they were fairly simple events. But now they've helped grow it to a level that's truly impressive. Based on just the level of competition alone it's a massive improvement from our first one, but in terms of the actual course building and on-site infrastructure, this year's Gymkhana GRID truly feels like it's arrived. The setup in South Africa was great and the support from the local fans that came out to watch blew me away. The people of South Africa are truly passionate about motorsports, which I find very relatable! I'm looking forward to focusing a bit more on GRID myself in 2018 and beyond and trying to help grow it even further. Maybe we'll even try and have an event or two in North America next year!"