Doran captures Gymkhana GRID bronze at X Games LA
Monster Energy athlete Liam Doran proclaimed his excitement at taking home bronze medal in the inaugural Gymkhana GRID event at X Games 2013 in Los Angeles.
Despite suffering an injured wrist and bent suspension during a crash in qualifying, 26-year-old Doran dominated the field at the Irwindale Speedway to take third spot, with American Tanner Foust taking gold ahead of Sweden’s Patrik Sandell.
Doran was clearly stoked about medalling in the event - despite knocking out fellow Monster Energy driver and Gymkhana GRID’s creator Ken Block in qualifying: "I’m excited to have taken home a medal at the new event at X Games,” said Doran. “I’m stoked to have won against Ken but bummed for him also, as this was his event.”
The 11th and final year of X Games in L.A kicked off in style for Doran who smashed it in Saturday’s Gymkhana practice - posting the fastest time of all drivers. After dominating Monster Energy teammate and rallycross legend Block in the quarterfinals, Doran faced off against Foust in the semis. Despite crossing the finish line in front of the American in all three races, Doran received some penalties in the deciding race, which sent the two-time Formula Drift champ Foust through to the final.
After Anton Marklund blew a head gasket before his semi-final with Sandell and had to pull out, Sandell took his spot in the final and Doran was automatically awarded the bronze medal.
“I definitely had a lot of fun - it's a great sport to have as part of X Games, said Liam. “The Mini is great for this competition, even though it’s about getting sideways. I learned quickly that the showy, smokey way wasn't the fast way."
Still on a high from his podium in Gymkhana GRID, Doran went into Sunday’s Rallycross event full of confidence, looking to go one better than his silver medal in X Games Munich earlier in the year. A clean, tidy race ahead of the pack saw Liam win his qualifying race by a considerable margin to Sandell, securing the Brit a place on the front row of the final.
Yet Doran’s luck would run out in the chaotic weekend’s finale as he and Block collided early in proceedings, ending both Monster Energy drivers’ chance of taking the victory.
"I’m super bummed that Ken and I collided,” explained a clearly disappointed Doran. “Once I got hit, I had no steering and the rest of the field was coming up quick behind us. This is not how I wanted the final X Games to go. A weekend of very mixed results, and I’m happy I took Bronze at Gymkhana GRID last night at least."
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