Over 200 mph . . . on ice?

This story dates from February last year, but I hadn’t come across it until today.  Eurotuner reported:

Finland’s four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen drove a Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland, at a breathtaking 205.48mph (330.695km/h) to set a new world speed record on ice.

. . .

With the help of his experienced team plus Bentley engineers, Kankkunen overcame the challenges of temperatures as low as -30˚C, sudden snow blizzards and potentially dangerous crosswinds on the 16.5km track on a 70cm/28”-thick layer of sea ice. The record attempt was driven over a kilometer-long measured distance, with the speed certified by officials from the Finland Traffic Police.

. . .

“200mph came up after 5km on sheet ice. Then it was just a question of getting everything right in the timing zone and hoping the snow kept away. There’s nothing to beat driving a Bentley at these speeds; the conditions may be perilous but the car responds so well to the slightest adjustment, which gives you the confidence to push even harder.”

As with the previous record-breaking drive, the Anglo-Finnish team used a car with minimum modifications. A fully-welded, heavy-duty safety rollcage, along with 275/40 R20 Pirelli SottoZero II winter tires and a rear bumper-mounted parachute were the only provisions made. Front and rear spoilers also provided high-speed stability on the treacherous surface.

There’s more at the link.  Here’s a video clip of the record attempt.

I note they made the run when the sun was barely above the horizon.  Thinking about it, that makes sense – the sun wouldn’t have been warm enough to melt the ice, creating a slippery surface.  Not something one has to worry about in an average speed record attempt, no?



  1. I so want a Bentley with a parachute. Or just a parachute for my Ford Ranger. Why didn't they run with the top down? Wonder what the chill factor would be?

  2. The sun wouldn't be warm enough to melt the surface anyway. As long as the temperature is below -10C or so, i cant see the sun having any effect on the surface of the ice. And if you pour water on ice at -30C, it will freece the second it hits the ice.
    (I've been out fishing in those temperatures, and you really have to experience it to believe it)

    A better explanation to the time of day is that at dawn and dusk you have the most calm weather, so there will be minimal winds and snow blowing.

  3. You should have seen me the first tie I ice skated. I did real well until I realized there was a bend in the rink and I didn't know how to turn OR stop. That car had nothing on me. 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *