Perhaps the greatest automotive show on ice.
Race cars from yesterday, today and pointing to tomorrow hit the ice in Austria for the second GP Ice Race and to put on a show that leaves a lasting impression.
5 February, 2020
Champion drivers, iconic race cars, skiers and ice tracks ... an unusual but thrilling combination
Cutting-edge race cars from throughout the company’s history. Champion racing drivers from a number of disciplines. World champion skiers and the slipperiest surface on earth. It’s an unusual combination certainly, but one that delivers pure excitement to fans, with an automotive show unlike any other.
The second running of the GP Ice Race in Austria’s Zell am See, again saw Audi roll out some of the brand’s most exciting vehicles and indeed drivers, to do battle on the ice, thrilling crowds with the unusual spectacle of Formula E and DTM champions sideways on the ice.
Formula E driver Daniel Abt and DTM champion René Rast were joined by 1984 World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist and triple Le Mans winner Benoît Tréluyer in an eclectic collection of race machinery, from Formula E (Audi e-tron FE06) to DTM (RS 5 DTM ) and the halcyon days of world rally (Audi Sport quattro) – all very much out of their element, except of course the rally representative.
This year, these iconic cars were joined by another historic model from the company’s past in the form of a DKW F91, but the automotive offering was just the beginning.
World freestyle ski ace Benedikt Mayr was once again on hand for the skijoring event, joined by 1987 slalom World Champion Frank Wörndl who also demonstrated his skiing skills behind the historic DKW F91.
The ice driving show follows on from last year when the traditional ice race in Zell am See was revived after a 45 year hiatus, and Audi racing drivers treated spectators yo an enthralling show to celebrate. In 2020, Daniel Abt turned several spectacular laps on snow with his Audi e-tron FE06, pulling freestyle ski ace Benedikt Mayr behind his car on a rope in traditional skijoring-style.
“Bene is a professional skier, I drive race cars, so we had the idea to do something together here again,” said Abt.
“Over time, this event with exciting racing cars from several marques and eras has turned into a hot spot of the motor racing scene. The drivers spend a great day together, there’s no competition pressure, and we give the fans a great show.”
Two-time DTM champion René Rast shared driving duties in his Audi RS 5 DTM #33 with Frenchman Benoît Tréluyer – the DTM car riding on rims 12 centimetres narrower than last year for improved grip, which was further enhanced with slimmer, studded tyres.
“After we had adjusted the setup for the soft, deep surface and to the special tyres, my run in the DTM-Audi over snow was huge fun for the fans,” said Rast.
Over time, this event with exciting racing cars from several marques and eras has turned into a hot spot of the motor racing scene
Benoît Tréluyer drove another classic in the skijoring event, towing the 1987 slalom World Champion Frank Wörndl with a historic DKW F91
Perhaps the icing on the cake (terrible pun we grant you), was the presence of rally ace, Stig Blomqvist, who won the World Rally Championship in 1984. He was right in his natural habitat behind the wheel of the historic Audi Sport quattro, which was likewise in its natural habitat sideways around the ice track.
In another twist this year though, Benoît Tréluyer also drove another classic in the skijoring event, towing the 1987 slalom World Champion Frank Wörndl with a historic DKW F91. And, just to cap things off, Wörndl used original 1960 Olympic skis worn by German fashion designer, film maker and ski racer Willy Bogner. Bogner is well known for his amazing camera work in James Bond films from 1969 to 1985, where his combined prowess on skis and skill with a camera allowed him to film the incredible ski chase sequences as they unfolded.
Also joining the automotive ice display this year was member of the Board of Managament responsible for marketing and sales, Hildegard Wortmann, who was treated to ‘hot laps’ with both René Rast in the Audi RS 5 DTM and Stig Blomqvist in the Audi Sport quattro.
“It was an impressive experience,” she said after blasting around the ice ring. “It was great to see the enthusiasm of the many fans at the circuit, they were treated to a tremendous show: a unique event that connects the history, the present and the future of motorsport.”
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