After a relaunch last year, the GP Ice Race is an annual fixture once again at Zell am See, a town high in the Austrian Alps.
The race was inspired by the sport of skijöring, which made an appearance at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St Moritz as a demonstration event, and featured skiers being pulled along by riderless horses on a frozen lake.
In 1937, motorcycles took to the frozen lake at Zell am See to give it a go and were soon followed by racing cars with suitably studded tyres. Over the years the motorbikes and cars stopped towing skiers and went all out against each other instead, racing at speeds of more than 110 km/h.
The event was cancelled at short notice in 1974 after an accident and was only revived 45 years later by promoter Greger Porsche Classic Cars. An appreciative 8,000 fans turned up to attend last year’s two-day motorsport gathering. This year an array of teams and drivers with bikes and racing cars – including classics such as the BMW 700 and Porsche 500 Spyder – will prove that snow and freezing temperatures are no excuse to stop racing. All you need is skill, passion and, of course, the right equipment. Forget slicks; this is the winter world of studded tyres – many of them supplied by event sponsor Pirelli.