Famous GP Ice Race in Zell am See is coming back and two ŠKODA FABIA R5 rally cars will be among its top stars. The spectacular races on ice were winter tradition in Austrian alpine town of Zell am See from 1937 to 1974. This year, the famous event is returning with 130 competitors in various classes, ranging from classic racing cars to latest rally cars, like FABIA R5.
The two ŠKODA cars, driven by the reigning WRC 2 champion Jan Kopecký and promising junior driver Julian Wagner from the Austrian BRR (Bauschlager Rally-Racing) team will spearhead the R5 competition at Zell am See. Seeing the two drivers compete for victory in the most successful R5 rally car of 2018 will give rally fans a taste of what’s coming this season. Their biggest competitors will be multiple Pikes Peak and Le Mans winner Romain Dumas in the Volkswagen’s brand new Polo GTI R5 rally car, which is set to fight FABIA R5 in 2019.
And there will be more for ŠKODA fans. Seven times German Rally Champion Matthias Kahle will bring his trusty ŠKODA 130 RS to show off its characteristic rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive handling in spectacular drifts on the icy race track, remembering the times when the “Porsche of the East” dominated its class in rallying.
Speaking of classic cars, there’s much more to see in Zell am See this weekend. Among the oldest will be the hill climb legend Auto Union Typ C, driven by Formula 1 hero Hans-Joachim Stuck. Much newer but no less intimidating, the Audi Sport Quattro S1, probably the most brutal rally car of all times, will be powered around the ice track by two-times WRC champion Walter Röhrl.
A Porsche 550 Spyder, similar car to the one Hollywood actor James Dean owned, will attend as well. The example present at Zell am See appeared here in the ice race some 60 years ago and was formerly owned by Ferry Porsche. Another Porsche to see there will be the 356 Abarth, which was successful in both Targa Florio and Le Mans. An Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 race car will be another La Mans veteran on the ice.
And what about the modern cars? There’s a lot to see, too. Audi brings its RS5 DTM driven by 2017 DTM Champion René Rast and the ground-breaking Audi e-tron FE04, which won the FIA Formula E World Championship and will be driven by Daniel Abt. Volkswagen comes with the all-electric ID. R prototype, record holder from the legendary Pikes Peak hilclimb.
Last but not the latest, two totally different kinds of cars will offer passenger rides to fans present at Zell am See. KTM X-Bows lightweight two seater have their own race challenge at GP Ice Race, besides being available to ride in. And then there’s probably the most improbable thing you can see racing on ice. A Red Bull NASCAR race car, brought from oval tracks of USA to try and channel the 650 hp of its 6.5-litre V8 on the ice track.
One thing is for sure – there will be something to see for motorsport enthusiasts of all kinds. Watch with us this weekend and cheer to our FABIA R5 drivers!