GP Ice Race – Zell am see

3.30 a.m., the alarm sounds but I’m already awake, excited about the event we are heading to and we waited a whole year for it to happen again. We met up with two friends who are coming from Modena halfway, to finish the trip together, cross the Italian-Austrian border, and spend a day of snow and motors among enthusiasts. Affi, Trento, Bolzano, Brennero, and finally the Tyrol, Austria, where we took a break to stretch our legs and drink a second coffee – worse than that drank when we still were on the motorway in Italy!
After Innsbruck, we pass through Kitzbuhel, admiring the Streiff from its foot – a slope that for “white circus” fans is without any doubt the temple of Alpine skiing. After 542 km from Milan, we enter Zell am See: on the roads of the mountain village there is traffic, and you can breathe an atmosphere of the motor, made by the smell of gasoline and metallic sounds provided by engines and pipes. We park near the entrance of the circuit, and we line up, waiting for them to open the gates to give way to the event.
The “rally” had far origin, since 1938, when the first GP Ice Race took place in the frozen lake of Zell am See: motorcycles towed skiers and the Skijoring (initially were used horses or dogs for tow) was yet a cult that embraced Motorsport. For four-wheel vehicles was necessary to wait for 1952, when cars were added to the events – at the time the race was on a frozen lake as told, then moved to an airfield in 1969 (where today is organized the weekend). After 1974 it dropped off the calendar also due to the adverse weather conditions in February and, in 2019, from an idea of two friends Ferdi Porsche (great-grandson of Ferdinand Porsche) and Vinzenz Greger (co-founder of Greger Porsche Classic Car), was revived the event again. The idea was to organize a “Woodstock on Ice” as the organizer said close to Saltzburg, in Porsche country – in 1941 Ferry Porsche bought just in Zell am See a farm-estate to safeguard his family form Second World War.
The event also attracts many celebrities, both from Motorsport (such as the 1984 Rally Word Champion Stig Blonquist, that drove the Audi Sport Quattro) and Ski entourage. Indeed, the eight-time overall Ski World Cup champion Marchel Hirsher was at the wheel of the Audi EKS RX S1 008, cars used for the 2018/2019 World Rallycross Championship. But there was also Aksel Lund Svindal, the Norvegian Olympic skier who also won three times the SuperG in Kitzbuhel, tow by Le Mans driver Jorg Bergmeister on a 911 with Rothmans livery. 
Lots of cool cars that aren’t easy to “meet up” altogether and, surely, you couldn’t see on ice if not thanks to this event. This great venture is growing and looks forward to returning a landmark in the Automotive world also thanks to the spectacular Alpes landscape and the two-days programme, full of fun.


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