North slide: going sideways in Lapland
Porsche Ice Experience Finland
There’s fewer more fun things to do in a Porsche than spend all day driving and drifting on ice. Just ask the Australians we met at the Ice Experience in Lapland
Drifting on frozen water in Levi, FinlandAccording to Tom Senior from New South Wales, true Australians believe that ice belongs in whisky, and that’s that. If this is true, then the 911 Targa driver and his sons Tom Junior and Darkie are not typical Aussies. Which can’t be the case because, like so many of their fellow countrymen, they undertake the long journey to drift on frozen water in Finland."Australians are a bit crazy," says livestock farmer Darkie, explaining his journey of over 20 hours from the other side of the world. "But we love to do this stuff – just to have fun." He is not bothered that the steering wheel is on the wrong side for him, while the snow-covered landscape is certainly not part of his natural habitat.
A remarkable number of Australians book the Porsche Ice Experience
Every year a remarkable number of Australians book the Porsche Ice Experience
In fact, every year a remarkable number of Australians book the Ice Experience in Levi, Finland. This experience programme involves drifting on ice with very long driving times. They receive a fitting welcome to the three days that lie in store for them with a large Porsche greeting at Kittilä Airport: "The best way to enjoy driving is ice-cooled," says one sign. Some of them will top up their knowledge from previous training courses here on the extensive training area, while others will take part for the first time.
Porsche Ice Experience means fulfilled goals, fun and training on ice
Porsche Ice Experience means fulfilled goals, fun and training on ice
Such as Angela from Adelaide. Her goal? To compete in the Targa Tasmania race like her husband or, perhaps, the Adelaide rally. So, it certainly can’t hurt to be able to drive a car to the limits. Jacqueline from Melbourne would like to learn how a sports car works and how to control it. This starts with the correct seating position, which is demonstrated here. "It’s amazing how much you can do wrong here," says the long-time Cayenne driver. Angela, on the other hand, has never been behind the wheel of a Porsche before, has never driven on a smooth surface and has never driven on spikes. In fact, all of the exercises are carried out on tyres filled with nails protruding up to 1.5 millimetres from the rubber. These types of tyres make training on ice a consistent experience.
Participants learn how to drift on ice
Participants learn how to drift on ice
Sleep, drift, repeatThe participants make their way to the tracks in groups, where each participant will try out each vehicle over the course of the three days. Today, 911 Carrera GTS, 911 Carrera 4S (991) and Panamera Turbo cars are on hand, as well as 718 Cayman, Cayenne and Macan models. With over 130 Porsche cars to be driven here in Levi in winter, every customer will learn the dynamic differences between long- and short-wheelbases, sports cars and SUVs, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Participants get a technical briefing by a Porsche instructor
Participants get a technical briefing by a Porsche instructor
And since no drifter is born a gifted natural, the participants, after receiving a technical briefing, begin with the slalom behind the instructor’s car on perfectly prepared ice with their electronic stability control switched off. Then the instructor looks at the vehicle‘s motion from the outside and directs, encourages and discusses everything by radio. The speed is increased, the first sliding experiences occur, but everything is completely safe. Various techniques can be employed: drifting can be achieved by braking, accelerating, using the handbrake, with a load change or even using the clutch. The Porsche instructors place a lot of emphasis on the Scandinavian Flick, where the vehicle is rocked to the point of controlled drifting.
Porsche Ice Experience - an adrenaline rush
Porsche Ice Experience: a true adrenaline rush
Through constant repetition in the respective section training, the participants’ driving technique is fine-tuned until completely perfect, enabling each participant to improve their performance and drive safer. The participants take on various handling sections on the final day of the programme. Mastering these circuits is the ultimate challenge, as they involve different bend radii, a series of left-right combinations and changing light and road conditions. "Even at -20°C, you’re covered in sweat, even if you're in just a T-shirt, because of the adrenaline rush," says Alex from Melbourne. The other activities, ranging from a thrilling snowmobile tour through the snowy Finnish landscape to interesting car-related discussions and seeing the Northern Lights, are also unforgettable experiences.
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