This looks like all sorts of fun!


The Telegraph reports on a snow and ice driving course in northern Sweden.

In 2004, Michael Schumacher took his Ferrari Formula One car around the famous tarmac of Silverstone in a record time of 1min 18.739sec. Fast forward eight years, substitute Schumacher for me, the F1 car for a 500bhp Corvette and the tarmac for a frozen lake, and what time passes as acceptable?

Four minutes and 15sec apparently. Or at least, that’s according to Mattieu Perot, who has been given the unenviable task of tutoring me in the ways of driving a high performance car around Silverstone on ice.

Perot is an instructor with Laponie Ice Driving in Arjeplog, Sweden, a place that brings a whole new meaning to the term “snowdrift”. Our playground is a vast frozen lake located about 50 miles from the Arctic Circle, which every winter is converted into a series of high octane tracks by Perot’s boss, Eric Gallardo.

Gallardo uses these tracks, which for 2012 include a full-size replica of the home of British motorsport, to teach customers the finer points of on-limit car control in a completely safe environment.

When Gallardo set up shop in 2005, he used BMW 320s to train eight drivers the finer points of on-limit car control. But as time has gone on, so the popularity of the school and the company’s ambitions have grown; by 2012 the prosaic BMWs have long since been ditched in favour of a fleet of 23 high-end sports cars including Porsches, Mitsubishi Evos and Corvettes, and the number of clients has grown to about 400.

In the meantime, the circuits carved into Laponie’s 750-acre section of the vast frozen lake have increased year-on-year so that there are now nine, ranging from circular skid pans of varying sizes to two full-size replicas of Paul Ricard and of course Silverstone.

There’s more at the link, including a video report (that I tried to embed, but which clearly doesn’t like Blogger), plus a gallery of images here. There are also a number of videos on YouTube about the ice driving school. Here’s their publicity video for the 2012 season.

That looks like something I’d really like to try! I’m sure I can’t afford it, but hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Peter

2 comments

  1. It is indeed a pricey expedition! Their packages range from €2,240-€7,360*, depending how many days (2, 3, or 4) and which cars you want to drive.

    * excluding tax — 25% Swedish VAT! — as well as accommodations, rental car, air transportation, and €1,000 loss/damage deposit.

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