Ice magic

A race with a difference – Audi has taken centre stage at the GP Ice Race in Austria.

An incredible spectacle for motorsport fans, as some of Audi Sport’s most exciting drivers and machinery take to the ice.

21 January, 2019

A race with a difference and a coming together of extraordinary motorsport talents and vehicles. The resurrection of the GP Ice Race in Zell am See combined extreme motorsport action with an incredible spectacle on arguably the most treacherous surface on earth.

Formula E Teams’ Champion Daniel Abt and DTM Champion René Rast turned it on in the Austrian Alps, giving the huge crowd a show like no other, and just to add even greater spice and excitement to the event, rally legend Walter Röhrl was also on hand to demonstrate his skill and the ability of the Audi Sport quattro – a car very much at home on the slick surface.

High-performance Audi vehicles from different eras and different motorsport categories – on ice

“It was the first time for me to drive a Formula E car on ice. A cool feeling!"

Daniel Abt

Daniel Abt was behind the wheel of the Audi e-tron FE04, the car that secured the 2017/2018 ABB Formula E Championship for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, while René Rast was at the wheel of his Audi RS 5 DTM – neither car designed for competition in the stunning, though treacherous conditions. Nevertheless, with studded snow tyres fitted and no shortage of driving talent on hand, they threw themselves into the challenge with gusto.

“This was a super-nice weekend with a fantastic atmosphere and fantastic people,” said Daniel Abt. “It was the first time for me to drive a Formula E car on ice. A cool feeling! It was incredibly good fun – also seeing the fans when you set yourself up for the corners and then drift through them. I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to take part in the event again next year.” 

But the action didn’t stop with the three competition machines spectacularly power sliding their way around the ice track, Daneil Abt also tried his skills at the traditional sport of ‘skijoring’, where a skier is pulled by a car as well (definitely not something to try on your next trip to the snow). Champion freestyle skier, Benedikt Mayr, became the first person to sky behind a Formula E race car on snow and ice – something that is unlikely to be duplicated in the near future. 

“That was great. Now I’m looking forward to visiting a Formula E race,” said the German after his unusual ride.

Conditions proved considerably more difficult for René Rast, who had to tackle the conditions with much shorted tyre studs due to the narrow wheel houses of the DTM car. 

“With the small studs and 500 horsepower (375kW) on the rear axle, we had slight traction problems,” Rast said laughing. “Still, driving the DTM car on snow and ice was an interesting experience and a lot of fun.”

“With the small studs and 500 horsepower (375kW) on the rear axle, we had slight traction problems in the RS 5 DTM”