Spectacular scenes in Austria at the GP Ice Race in Zell am See. Formula E Teams’ Champion Daniel Abt and DTM Champion René Rast ventured onto snow and ice in their race cars at temperatures far below freezing. In action for Audi Sport as well were rally legend Walter Röhrl and freestyle skiing star Benedikt Mayr.
At the successful revival of the traditional ice race in Zell am See, a trio of Audi race cars thrilled the large crowd of spectators. Daniel Abt drove the Audi e-tron FE04 with which the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team had won the title in the 2017/2018 ABB Formula E Championship. René Rast was at the wheel of his Audi RS 5 DTM. The spectacular appearance on snow and ice was completed by World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl at the wheel of a historic Audi Sport quattro.
“This was a super-nice weekend with a fantastic atmosphere and fantastic people,” said Daniel Abt. “It was the first time for me to drive a Formula E car on ice. A cool feeling! It was incredibly good fun – also seeing the fans when you set yourself up for the corners and then drift through them. I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to take part in the event again next year.”
Abt successfully tried his skills at the traditional skijoring where a skier is pulled by a car as well. Since this weekend, freestyle skier Benedikt Mayr has been the first human to have ever been suspended from the rope attached to a Formula E race car on snow and ice. “That was great. Now I’m looking forward to visit a Formula E race,” said the German.
Clearly more difficult conditions were encountered by René Rast. Whereas the Audi e-tron FE04 was fitted with tires using long rally studs, the DTM Champion, due to the narrow wheel houses of the DTM car, had to take to the ice course on short studs. “With the small studs and 500 horsepower on the rear axle we had slight traction problems,” Rast said laughing. “Still, driving the DTM car on snow and ice was an interesting experience and a lot of fun.”