Ever wondered what it’s like to drive a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on snow and ice? Just ask some of Australia’s top Porsche drivers.
The 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup runner-up Warren Luff, Elite Class runner-up Shane Smollen and GT3 Cup Challenge champion Fraser Ross were last week awarded a trip to Levi, Finland, by Porsche Cars Australia to participate in the top-level Porsche Driving Experience programme, Ice Force S. The prize was offered to the top three place-getters in the Professional Class and the Elite Class for 2014, though several drivers were unable to attend.
The four-day experience saw the Porsche racers and a host of Australian and international Porsche enthusiasts drift a range of Porsche, including the 911 GT3 and Turbo models, on Finnish frozen lakes. The drivers then graduated to the 911 GT3 Cup car, more commonly found on the Carrera Cup grid, for several laps of the ice circuit.
For Elite Class driver Shane Smollen, drifting Porsche’s most desirable sports cars on ice was an unforgettable experience.
“The combination of the amazing location, the organisation of the event and the driving skills required made this a very memorable week,” said Smollen.
“It was bitterly cold in the arctic circuit and right in the middle of extraordinary ice plains with some of the most exotic cars on the planet, including the GT3 Cup and the Porsche 918 – both of which we sampled, not to mention the snow mobiles and ice go-karting. It was truly an amazing experience.”
Warren Luff also returned with a new appreciation of the Porsche brand and the diverse abilities of the Carrera Cup race car.
“I absolutely loved it; it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things to do and something I would recommend to anyone. Just to drive such amazing cars in an environment like that was just amazing,” said Luff.
“Knowing the 991 GT3 Cup car so well, to experience it on snow and ice was so much fun and, with the studded tyres, it had so much more grip than I ever could have imagined. It hooked up and drove out of the corners really well. It was a real eye-opener to drive that car in that environment.
“For me, the whole experience rates up there as one of the best things I’ve ever been able to do in terms of driving experiences. To be able to get that as a prize was incredible. It certainly beats a trophy and a pat on the back.”
The focus now shifts to the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season, which begins at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on February 26-March 01, 2015.