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Gridlife Midwest 2017

When the car scene meets a music festival

Mike Sabounchi
Jul 17, 2017
Photographer: Robert Wilkinson

It's hard to explain everything that goes into Gridlife in just one article, but we'll try our best to sum it up. Take nearly HALF of the Formula D pro field and transport them across the country to a track in the middle of the Midwest, combine them with some of the most stylish drift crews in the country, add a time-attack field of over 150 entrants, sprinkle in 10,000 attendees, finish it off with epic live performances from Keys N Krates, Manic Focus, GrandTheft, and others, and then enjoy for three days. That about sums it up.

Lucky for you, Gridlife repeats itself throughout the year and you have two opportunities to catch the festival, Midwest and South.

Gridlife midwest 2017 fans Photo 2/31   |   Gridlife Midwest 2017 Fans

There is legitimately no other event like it in the country and the momentum just keeps building. This year, Falken brought out their giant motorsports rig and a handful of Formula D pro cars (past and present). At one point, there was a sea of blue and teal attacking the track, weaving through all of the amateur drift teams. Speaking of weaving, the boys from Donut Media were shocking just about everyone with their AMG filming rig sandwich. One AMG E-Class would lead as Ryan Tuerck, Chris Forsberg and Vaughn Gittin Jr. followed. The other AMG E-Class would chase and get right on the bumpers of the three-way tandem. It was a pretty amazing sight especially when you consider that if the lead AMG wrecked, it would have caused a chain reaction that cost more than an F1 crash (mostly because the Ferrari-powered GT4586 was in the mix).

However that doesn't mean the field was all pro drivers. A few amateur drifters were doing a reverse entry battle into turn one just to prove a point (I think Ryan Litteral went completely backwards into turn one more than once)

All of the attention wasn't just on the drifters all weekend. William Au-Yeung brought out his record breaking 9th gen. Civic as a final shakedown before he prepped the car for WTAC in Australia later this year. Speaking of records, James Houghton managed to break the FWD track record in his K-Tuned Integra Type R and we hear his car wasn't even running at 100 percent. We're keeping our fingers crossed that both guys make it back out to Super Lap Battle this year for another fierce showdown.

Matt Farrah, Jarrod DeAnda, and the boys from Maximum Drift Cast were sharing M.C. duties all weekend over the track's P.A. system. Some of the coolest cars we've seen in the Midwest came out for the car show along with a shit ton of spectators. At one point there were so many tents in camper's village that it actually resembled a small city.

Gridlife midwest 2017 r34 skyline Photo 6/31   |   Gridlife Midwest 2017 R34 Skyline

Gridlife Midwest is 100 percent one of the greatest things to happen to our industry because it magically captures the best parts of our car culture and amplifies it by 100 for three days straight right in the middle of nowhere.

In fact, I think it's time to get ready for Gridlife South—time to brush up on those Ludacris lyrics!

Gridlife midwest 2017 BRZ Photo 7/31   |   Gridlife Midwest 2017 BRZ
Gridlife midwest 2017 falken S15 Photo 14/31   |   Gridlife Midwest 2017 Falken S15
Gridlife midwest 2017 integra type r Photo 24/31   |   Gridlife Midwest 2017 Integra Type R
Gridlife midwest 2017 subaru BRZ Photo 31/31   |   Gridlife Midwest 2017 Subaru BRZ
By Mike Sabounchi
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