Audi Tradition hands Ken Block the keys to a fully restore, Group B classic from the brand’s illustrious motorsport past and points him at a frozen ice lake.
9 May, 2022
There are many who believe the increasingly rare examples of racing classics from the past should be preserved in museums for future generations to pore over and admire. Then there are those, like the team at Audi Tradition, who believe that the true motorsport heritage of the brand should be seen – and heard – in action, rather than just sitting as part of a stationary exhibition.
Taking that philosophy to extremes though, at this year’s GP Ice Race in the Austrian town of Zell am See, Audi Tradition handed the keys of a pristine, fully restored 1983 Audi Quattro A2 Group B rally monster to none other than Ken Block, and let him loose in it on the ice. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, nothing at all as it turns out, much to the relief of Audi Tradition’s Timo Witt who no doubt aged prematurely as he watched the flamboyant Block, with JP Kraemer in the passenger seat, throw the rally classic sideways around the ice track.
Block wasn’t the only rally great to get the chance to put the classic through its paces on the ice track, with Audi great, Harald Demuth also showing his deft touch in the Group B car. Demuth is the man who drove the Audi 100 CS quattro into history when he took one straight up the ski jump in Finland for the now famous Audi quattro advertising campaign in the ’80s.
He later repeated the feat for the 25th anniversary of quattro – this time driving an Audi A6.
Of course this isn’t the first time Audi has sent some of its most exciting machinery out onto the ice for this event. Everything from rally greats to DTM racers and even all-electric race machinery in the form of the Audi e-tron FE04 have performed here for the crowds that gather each year.
On this particular occasion, Block also hit the ice track in one of the brand’s current performance models in the form of the Audi RS e-tron GT – a car he is very familiar with and has been driving in some unusual places back home in The States. He also became one of the few people who can say that they’ve driven a Dakar racer on ice, putting the RS Q e-tron to the test in Australia.
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