If you haven't noticed by now, we love Gymkhana. It's amazing the kind of fun you can have with an empty car park, a couple of cones, a couple of hours, and a group of enthusiastic drivers.
But for the uninitiated, Gymkhana can be a little intimidating. It's not as automatically intuitive as driving around a racetrack, and trying to manhandle machinery around tight sets of cones becomes a true test of skill and understanding.
That being said, we at Toycarz are of the belief that if it's a skill you're after, it can be taught and practiced to near-perfection. For that purpose, we rented out the infamous Shah Alam Stadium Carpark (one known for hosting Gymkhana and advanced driver training events for the better part of two decades) and got to work with creating a Gymkhana course.
Our participants for the day ranged from experienced competitive drivers to those who just wanted to get a feel for their cars, and it's this kind of diversity that makes the local Lotus community great. One of the concerns that participants had was the tyre damage that would come from sliding around, but we had that covered.
The crew from Toycarz pitched tents and power supplies to make sure all participants were comfortable while waiting, as mechanics Bob and Sonu got busy swapping out tires for participants renting used tires to use on the track.
Starting at 9am, 3 sets of courses were setup to allow participants to practice. Instructors were available to teach the beginners how to take on a Gymkhana course. As it was a tight course, throttle control, precise braking, and quick hand brake turns were very much needed to carry speed and shave time.
Participants patiently waited for their turns, carefully studying the course and mentally rehearsing the necessary steps to execute a good Gymkhana run. It was both a mental and physical test that required dedication and precision to overcome.
Speaking of dedication, enthusiasts all the way from Penang, Johor and Singapore took time out to participate in this event. Some left their homes in the wee hours of the morning, and some came even earlier and stayed overnight just to make it on time to have some fun.
By noon, most of us took a break for lunch, while some still took the opportunity to practice on the courses. It was after lunch when we began the competition runs for the best time. Chris briefed the participants and walked through the course with them.
As the competition runs began, the level of excitement rose and there was tension in the air. The smell of burning tires, the screech of brakes grabbing for purchase, bulldozing and clipping of cones for the unfortunate ones, and engines wrung out to redline. Participants were competitive and with great sportsmanship, everyone had plenty of fun.
By late afternoon, we had our results, as follows:
Safe to say, our first Gymkhana excursion went reasonably well and we can't wait to host more in the future. In the mean time, we have our up and coming driver development courses that will cover various aspects of advanced driving, with one each month culminating in another Gymkhana event in August.
More photos available for viewing at: https://www.toycarz.net/eventsanddrives