A few years ago, only a handful of gearheads had heard the term gymkhana. But when Ken Block’s Gymkhana Practice video went viral, the word went mainstream. More Gymkhana videos followed, each getting more elaborate and commercialized with higher and higher production values. The video game DiRT 3 even launched a gymkhana mode.

Funk Flex
Find Flex On Google+

With the popularity of gymkhana growing, it was inevitable that a competition would be created. Late last year, the Gymkhana GRID Invitational was launched, pitting professional drivers head-to-head on a course designed by Ken Block. Like many of you, we assumed that Block had organized the event. After all, his name was in the event title and it was even sponsored by DC Shoes and Monster Energy.

The man behind the event, however, was Chris Willard. And while Block had helped promote the event and get it sponsored, Willard was the one who organized the initial Gymkhana GRID. He had hopes of creating an entire series of competitions, with the next event scheduled for later this month in Hollywood, CA. That’s not happening now, as he’s received a cease and desist letter from DC Shoes regarding the use of the Gymkhana name. We dug a little deeper to find out more about why DC wants the event shut down and who really has the rights to the Gymkhana name.