Gymkhana, An Overview – Is It For You?

I know I have some readers outside of the United States.  Autocrossing or related events are done differently in different parts of the world.  For example, I’ve heard and seen a bit about gymkhana events.  They are related to autocross in that they take place at a parking lot site.  Also, orange cones or other traffic guidance indicators are used.  Beyond that – it’s very different. (Drift & Gymkhana Trials) are introducing gymkhana back into USA.

This is a definition found in a Ken Block Gymkhana video (this video is beyond words):


An automotive sport that takes place on an open field or parking lot and requires drivers to skillfully maneuver their cars around a series of cones, slaloms, 180 degree turns, 360 degree turns, figure eights or other obstacles using extreme acceleration, braking and drifting.

Similar to “autocross”, Gymkhana courses are often very complex and memorizing the course is a significant part of achieving a fast time.

Ready for more?  Here’s a gymkhana event course layout, using only 16 cones…

I found a British video posting on YouTube that was intriguing, looked difficult to maneuver & to remember.  But there’s no place to get out your high speed “ya -yas”, like at an autocross.  It’s like dressage for cars.  I had to watch this a few times to figure it out…super car control!

It IS interesting & would look to be VERY challenging.  This guy, in his Caterham, did not hit 1 cone!  Although he had many, many opportunities to do so.  I noted the course is very small, but the course consists of some interesting choreography.  But gee, no helmet & those guys out their to monitor he was hitting his marks; they are just casually standing there while the competitor drives but just inches away!  Not too smart, in my opinion.

I have heard that autocross is called by other terms in other parts of the world.  My friend Swade (the voracious Saab blogger in Tasmania, Australia) says they are called motorkhana in “Down Under”, and cones (or pylons) are called witches hats – I still can’t believe that!  In the UK & Ireland, similar events are called autotesting.

Others of you who are from other locations around the world, tell me about your name for autocross, or other “car dexterity” events & how you see it (or do it) different than what I document here at Racing Ready.

Thank you!


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One thought on “Gymkhana, An Overview – Is It For You?”

  1. The guy in the Caterham – unbelievable. Just when you think you might be capable of doing something, you see a guy like that and realise that there is a long, long way to go.

    That’s some of the best driving I think I’ve ever seen. It was dancing like a ballerina. Outstanding.

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