Funkhana MG does gymkhana

Here’s a short clip of your webmaster/funkhana-meister driving his ’53 MG TD in a gymkhana, also referred to as an autocross. In 24 years of ownership, the car has trudged through snow, done off-road hillclimbs and forded rivers, but never has it been driven in a parking lot competition lacking the craziness of a funkhana. Thank you to the Ohio Valley Austin Healey Club for a thrilling driver training opportunity. It was a proverbial demonstration of  “The Little Red Engine That Could.”

The clip above shows an autotest, which is a like a gymkhana on steroids. It’s the difference between “wow” and “WOW.” It’s featured here because an autotest is sometimes referred to as a gymkhana. Also, the fact that it’s a such a skillful example of car handling might persuade you to forgive me for conning you into watching the boring cell phone video of my MG zooming across the finish line.

Moving along. . . The term “gymkhana” is often used interchangeably with “autocross,” especially in the United States (and in this blog post). Motorsports purists explain that an autocross is a compact version of a classic road racing course, driven forward in a continuous motion. A gymkhana, however, has slaloms, drifts and severe turns, repetition, and backing up. Think of the traditional gymkhana as being herky-jerky rather than fluid.

Gymkhana is also a term in the title of promotional videos featuring daredevil Ken Block, a former World Rally and X-Games driver.  His “Gymkhana Practice” clip went viral on YouTube, with the number of views reportedly in excess of 40 million. Block’s Facebook page has 2.4 million “likes”. Look for more about Ken Block in an upcoming post at

NOTE If you’re inclined to only watch part of the second clip, I suggest you move the elapsed time pointer to 45 seconds for a most unusual ending. As for the first video, I extend my gratitude to anyone who watched the entire 8 seconds.