RAC Cars News


New Ice Driving Record

By raccars Published

Janne 'Iceman' Laitinen from Finland has set a new world speed record for driving on ice, on the Gulf of Bothnia in his home country. The 'Iceman' hit a speed of 208mph on a 7.5 mile track over the frozen Bothnian sea, in an Audi RS6. A set of innovative new ultra-low profile studded tyres, which are street legal, helped Mr Laitinen beat his previous record by more than two miles per hour.

The tyres, Nokian's Hakkapeliitta 8, are studded and specially designed for a maximum balance of grip on the lateral and longitudinal. These sorts of tyres are popular in Northern climates, aiding handling and grip on icy roads. Nokian is a company with history in this field, having created the world's first winter tyre in 1934. While these tyres are ideal for the world ice driving speed record, the attempt also functions well as an extreme testing situation for Nokian, with the tyres in this case travelling more than 93 metres per second and the studs hitting the ice 43 times.

The record was confirmed by the Guinness World Records organisation, whose rules for ice speed records include the proviso that the tyres used in the attempt must be road legal in the country where the record is set.

Record breakers are given one hour to make the attempt and the car must set off on a flying start on a natural track, which has not been roughened or chemically treated. The speed taken as the record is an average time for a 1 kilometre or 0.62 mile pass of the track, once in each direction. In fact, Mr Laitinen was recorded reaching a top speed of 211mph in the course of reaching his official 208.602mph average.

Test driver for Nokian, Janne Laitinen, has been involved in tyre testing and endurance driving on nearly every continent. Since March 2012, he is also the holder of the world ice driving speed record for an electric car, in which he set a time of just over 156mph. His previous ice speed record was made in the same Audi RS6, but with Nokian's earlier model Hakkapeliitta 7 tyres. The Audi RS6 used was a standard model apart from the tyres, with a 5.0 litre twin-turbo V10 under the bonnet. Its 572bhp will take you from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. For the purposes of setting the speed record, the speed limiter was removed and a roll cage was fitted.

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