Automotive enthusiasts are spread apart into multiple categories depending on what we're passionate about. Unfortunately these groups rarely intermix on common ground, The track folk rarely attend car meets, the hard parkers have not been to an autocross or road course, and the drifters well, they just drift wherever they can on their own little hoon island. Enter #GRIDLIFE an automotive experiment set out specifically to bring all these groups together. With all the hate thrown around the internet #GRIDLIFE could have been the biggest flop but what ended up happening was a truly magical experience that I hope everyone gets to enjoy at least once.
So how did #GRIDLIFE get everyone together and make it a terrific experience for all?
We start off at a track in South Haven Michigan called Gingerman, a road course with 11 turns and 2.2 miles of beautiful tarmac where the Big Three test their sports car, where LeMons races are held and as well as time trials through NASA/SCCA. It's a terrific venue to build a new type of automotive gathering.
Second it wasn't a 4 hour event. #GRIDLIFE was a full automotive immersion. 1500+ people came to the track for the entire weekend. Drifters, Road Racers, and stancenation all camped out for two days at a race track.
There were activities for everyone HPDE, drifting, time attack, car show, and a full on music festival with national touring acts like WillyJoy, The Hood Internet, and Autobot from Flosstradamus.
Next make it cheap just $30 included admission and camping for the weekend. If you wanted to thrash your car all weekend just $250 got you in for 5 hours of track time over the course of the weekend. Add to that, $45 for a single session. Allowed everyone to take their car out with a pro level instructor for the price of a nice dinner. That allowed people to get their foot in the door, to experience what tracking a car is all about. People who did so gained a new level of respect for the nut cases that went out there to compete in time attack on Sunday.
#GRIDLIFE also felt grassroots, youth oriented, and ultra friendly. Nobody wants to go to a track day with a bunch of pricks that think they're better than everybody. People just want to go to the track to have a good time, laugh, and go home with a smile. That's exactly what was delivered.
#GRIDLIFE pulled off the seemingly impossible, brought people together from every automotive sub genre together in near perfect harmony. The future will be great. Events, especially in their first year rarely go off as flawless as #GRIDLIFE did and talking with the organizers there are plenty of plans in place to make it even better in the years to come.
Why is this important to the car community? Because it allows a unified car community that shows respect for each other.
Here are just a few pictures from the event
For more follow #GRIDLIFE on Facebook.
A special thank you to Chris Stewart for making this possible.
A great video recap