If you’re into motorsport, you’ve probably heard of ‘gymkhana’. If you haven’t, gymkhana happens to be a thrilling event where drivers compete to achieve the fastest time possible on an obstacle course. But it’s no ordinary obstacle course – drivers may sometimes even be expected to perform reversals, 180 degree spins, 360 degree spins, figure 8s, and other advanced skills.
Closer to home, the Asia Auto Gymkhana Competition (AAGC), a regional gymkhana series, pits countries across Asia against each other. To ensure a level playing field, each round in the event is completed in identical showroom cars.
This year, Škoda Singapore was the official car provider for the AAGC 2019 Driver Selection in Singapore from 16-17 March, providing two standard Octavia 1.4 TSI models for the event.
Held at The Grandstand in Bukit Timah, the AAGC comprised of two main segments. For the first course, drivers used their own cars around the course, while the second saw them taking turns in the Octavia to manoeuvre a new route. Results were then determined based on the fastest run from each segment.
Though the use of the Octavia may have come to a surprise to some, it perhaps isn’t much of a surprise at all.
As a brand, Škoda is no stranger to world of motorsport. In fact, Škoda has been engaged in this adrenaline-pumping sport since 1901 and has gained various titles around the world. Even now, a team from Škoda Auto competes in the European Rally Championship and World Rally Championship-2. So of course, the Octavia had some high expectations to live up to.
As explained by Mr Ricky Tay, Managing Director of Škoda Singapore, “Motorsport is very much a part of the Škoda DNA; the brand has been involved in motorsport since 1901. In fact, the Octavia played an important role in Škoda’s motorsport ambitions, when the company used it to enter the top flight of rallying for the first time in the 1960’s.”
Despite the brand’s rich history, many first time event-goers noted that the course was no easy drive around the park. With cones, barrels, tyres and other obstacles peppered around the track, it was one that would challenge even the most experienced of drivers.
Nonetheless, the reliable sedan certainly lived up to the challenge. With the ability to go from 0-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds flat and its quick-shifting 7-speed automatic DSG gearbox, many drivers were able to handle the track with ease. Despite how spacious it was on the inside, it performed with agility and grace around the course.
In explaining the brand’s decision to put forward the Octavia, Mr Tay had this to say: “We thought the Gymkhana event was a great opportunity to put the Octavia 1.4 to the test and for some of the most skilful drivers in Singapore to demonstrate its performance and agility.”
And based on the impressed reactions of the drivers who had a go around the track in the Octavia, he couldn’t have been more right.