Συνολικά υπήρχαν 20 ομάδες που απαρτιζόταν από δημοσιογράφους 26 χωρών και έδωσαν την μάχη μεταξύ τους σε θερμοκρασίες -31º βαθμών Κελσίου με τα MX-5 να διαφέρουν από την εργοστασιακή έκδοση μόνο στα χειμωνιάτικα ελαστικά. Νικήτρια ήταν η ομάδα των Ρώσων που συμπλήρωσαν τους περισσότερους γύρους μέσα στις 4 ώρες του αγώνα. Video και φωτογραφίες από την εκδήλωση στη συνέχεια.
Mazda MX-5 Ice Race 2011 Sweden
4 hour race for journalists, TV fans and readers
20 modified racing MX-5s set to start
Extensive programme with training sessions, qualifying and the race
Mazda MX-5 Ice Race provides exciting Finish Lake Kallsjön, Sweden, 24 February 2011. Mazda’s MX-5 roadster proved again yesterday its pure sports cars genes, this time on ice in Sweden at the Mazda Ice Race 2011. Clear blue skies and polar temperatures provided the right conditions for an exhilarating festival of drift and control as drivers from 26 nations competed in specially modified roadsters for a podium finish.
Day 1 – the Aussie’s make it look easy
After Tuesday’s practice sessions and qualifying, a clear favourite emerged with the Australian team, which dominated Day 1 and took pole position. They also won the hearts of everyone by wearing swimming trucks over their racing overalls – in honour of summer down under – and driving with a tiny kangaroo mascot fastened to the top of their car’s safety cage. They made it look easy on Day 1 with their only real challenge coming from the Russian team, which took second on the grid.
Day 2 – Russian Heroics and Belgium Consistency
Race day featured beautiful blue skies, glistening snow and a morning temperature of -31º C. This ensured ideal conditions on the ice of Lake Kallsjön, which is located in the Östersund region of west-central Sweden. The race itself was conducted in two sessions, each two hours long, with the car completing the most laps the winner. Like last year’s MX-5 Open Race in Italy, it was drifting control and not pure speed that proved the decisive factor in the race. The Australians continued to dominate as they had on Day 1 and led for nearly the entire race. But then a small mistake, a spin-out, and Russia overtook them at the end, holding on for the chequered flag; with Australia second.
Russia’s win followed some amazing heroics from the team. They began the race in second place but spun-out early, fell back to 14th, only to battle their way back to second by the end of the first session. They then patiently held this spot, hoping for a miracle, and were able to capitalise on Australia’s misfortune at the end of the final session for a truly exciting win. The Belgium team displayed the consistently good driving you would expect from last year’s MX-5 Open Race winners, coming from far back in the pack to take third. The unforgettable day out on the ice culminated with a Champagne spray on the podium from the three winning teams.
The Mazda Ice Race 2011 was crowned later that evening at a gala dinner and show for pilots, teams and invited guests who had won a Mazda competition in their home countries for a place at the event. Jeff Guyton, Mazda Motor Europe’s President and CEO, gave a short speech and presented trophies to the tired but happy winners. This was followed by dinner and a celebration of MX-5 Ice Race memories lasting late into the night.