Fired Up For Cold Racing: Audi at GP Ice Race in Austria
source: Audi Sport
Audi RS 5 DTM and Audi e-tron FE04 to debut on ice with studded tires
René Rast and Daniel Abt on slippery surface in Zell am See
Eight decades of Audi motorsport history
Motorsport of a different kind for a change: Never before have race cars from Audi’s motorsport program as different from each other as these been driven together on snow and ice. This will change on January 19 and 20, 2019: At the GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria, Daniel Abt will be drifting around an ice course in the fully electric Audi e-tronFE04. DTM Champion René Rast will be taming his Audi RS 5 DTM on a slippery surface for the first time.
From 1937 to 1973, ice races in Zell am See were a crowd-puller and a place for the international motorsport elite to meet. The organizational team headed by Ferdinand Porsche and Vinzenz Greger is reviving this tradition after 45 years. Audi Tradition is using the revival to demonstrate the history and future of the motor racing program – featuring, among others, an Auto Union Type C that is part of the historic exhibition. In 1938, Hans Stuck won the Großglockner hillclimb event not far from Zell am See in a Type C. The most spectacular rally car of all time, the Audi Sport quattro S1, will also do its laps at the GP Ice Race.
When René Rast starts his Audi RS 5 DTM in Zell am See, it will definitely be a loud and fast experience. The 2017 DTM Champion is eager to see how the studded tires will cope with the more than 500 horsepower of his race car. “In karting, I once drove an ice race against Nico Rosberg on studded tires and with the Audi driving experience I’ve been to Sweden before,” says the 32-year-old pro. “Obviously, ice is the absolute challenge for any race driver. Even though everything seems to be happening in slow motion, we have to be fully focused. On the one hand, it’s fun but on the other, as always, we want to feel the limit. I’m already very excited.”
Daniel Abt in his open cockpit is even closer to the scatter of crystals. The driver from the Bavarian Allgäu region, who in 2018 won his home Formula E race in Berlin, will be driving the Audi e-tron FE04 Formula E championship-winning car. The electric race car will be clawing at the ground on studded tires as well. “On ice in a single-seater – what a combination!” says the 26-year-old Audi driver. “I once drove an ice kart race and on another occasion I was a passenger in Mattias Ekström’s rallycross Audi on snow. But I’ve never driven a race car on ice myself. I’m sure that’ll be huge fun. I hope I won’t need an ice scraper for my helmet visor …”