Hitting up South Haven, Mich., for the first time you quickly realize that there really isn't much to do. Sure, you have downtown and the beach along Lake Michigan, both of which you can probably drive through in three minutes. But travel east of downtown and you stumble onto something very special — Gingerman Raceway, where Gridlife is hosted every year. Truthfully, our first Gridlife experience was just last year in '15, which was the first year founder Chris Stewart decided to put a spin on the track event and incorporate a music festival into the mix. It's not just one day either, but three days of camping, musical performances, drifting, and time attack sessions. And by camping, we mean sleeping in the comfort of the Holiday Inn Express up the road.
This year roughly 300 cars participated in the time attack, HPDE (High Performance Driver Education), and drift. In addition to that, around 200 cars were assembled for the car show. In the evening, the track is cold and the guests flock to the main stage to watch a variety of DJs and some of my personal favorites were Shawn Wasabi and Zebo.
Trust us when we say they are cooking up some pretty interesting cars outside of California. Our friends from Hoonigan drove all the way from California just to get the Gridlife experience. Unfortunately Hert went full hotrod in his LS powered FC RX-7 and only made a handful of passes. Risky Devil members Steve and Tim gave quite the drift exhibition, as well as some usual suspects like Ryan Tuerk and Rob Parsons, aka the Chair Slayer.
This is only the first event of the year and Chris Stewart is expecting Gridlife Atlanta to be even bigger. If all things happen according to plan, we'll be towing Mr. Fakerich's Subaru out to Atlanta for the time attack.
Chris says, "Atlanta is our first event outside the Midwest so we are pulling out all the stops to really make an impact down in the Southeast. With the first ever full-track drift sessions at Road Atlanta, a full three-day time attack and our new multi-genre music lineup, Atlanta is going to be our most ambitious event yet. The South has never seen a grassroots automotive event like this before. Hope they are ready!"