Chris Harris video: ice driving

First, I have to declare that the bloke who owns the ice driving school featured in this video is a friend of mine. We share the type of infantile friendship which means it is beholden upon me to try and make life difficult for him, so I will now say that there are many other ice driving experiences you can buy, and many of them are very good. Seek them out of you can.

This one uses proper rally cars and studded tyres though, and for me, that's the only way to go ice driving.

What a fairly ordinary 3.2 Carrera motor running 250hp can do on studs, on a frozen lake remains one of the more uplifting automotive constants. Every time I do this, I come away wanting more. The skills you can learn, re-learn and hone on the ice are limitless - anyone who enjoys driving to an expert level and wants to take the next step in car control needs to go and do something like this.

Intermediates will benefit hugely too because teaching the human mind to respond to a wildly oversteering motor car with calm steering and throttle inputs, as opposed to that dreadful pang of fear that shoots down the spine is best done between soft(ish) snow banks.

This course also helps deflate those who deride the 911 as physically wrong for decent handling. That rear engine gives added pendulum effect into turns and through transitions, and all the while you have that traction to fall back on.

Spending cash on driving experiences is a notoriously shady activity - but in my opinion, if you like the feeling of a car moving around underneath you - if you're one of those always being told off on trackdays for cutting the occasional drift - then ice driving is the best thing you can do in a car for cash.

Hopefully this is last video we'll shoot for some time that contains snow.

Enjoy the vid.


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Comments (56) Join the discussion on the forum

  • moribund 14 Mar 2013

    Thanks for that, good to hear first hand.

  • trackdemon 14 Mar 2013

    moribund said:
    Was one day enough on the ice, do you think 2 days would be too much? Just wondering about maybe organising a similar trip myself next year and sharing the car with some friends.
    I think one shared day is more than enough if you're quite new to it - ice driving (especially on rally studs) can be quite tiring! Our group had two per car, and everyone seemed more than happy with the amount of driving time. Fwiw my trip should be IRO £800 all in with track hire, fuel, car rental, good hotel, breakfast, evening meals etc. all included

  • squirejo 09 Mar 2013

    smtk said:
    Experience days can vary so widely its minefield. You always need to ask about seat time its the only thing that matters.

    To give an example I was considering a full day rally driving experience £260 till I found out you really only get 2hrs in the car for that money (so £130/per hr) then I compared it too the 1/2day one to one at £625 (£96/per hr) which can be shared between you and a friend.

    Yes you can do it cheap but your probably not getting the same thing. I've done it and felt cheated I recall a certain stag do with 2 rage off road buggies that were slower than my lawnmower which had to be shared between eight of us.

    I've just come back from Below zero after 2 days on the ice and you soon see why it costs what it does. You have the cars your using plus back ups if those break plus a lorry load of spares. They had a day van for you to relax in (its left running all day to stay warm) one or 2 tow vehicles depending on the number of cars out. 2+ instructors 3 guys for maintenance/recovery. Chef prepared meal for lunch at the local hunters lodge and taxi to and from your hotel.

    The important thing is if something breaks you not loosing driving time you just hop into the spare car and go right back out. Its the motorsport end of the spectrum vs the bring your own trackday event.

    With this I concur having also just done the below zero ice driving. Our original plan was Saturday with these guys and Sunday morning in 997's. but the weather was so poor on Saturday afternoon that the only option was to head back to the hotel for a beer and hot tub. And what follows is when you know you get what you pay for. Tuthills guys liaised with the hotel and cancelled the modern 911s with no cost to us (in fact a £500 saving...). They then met us in the bar at 6pm and we agreed the Sunday plan- an early start with a further full morning at no cost to us. It was due to be their first day off in 6 weeks.

    From the very outset the day is built around the driver. Instruction is on hand but by no means mandatory. The emphasis is only on driving and having fun, not on preserving the vehicle, redline, time etc. . Sign this form. It says you could die and theres an excess to pay. one would have to set off a bomb under one of these cars to be charged that i would think..Ok let's go.

    A very genuinely high quality weekend away. Just bear in mind that the kall auto lodge (very good) really is in the middle of nowhere. 2hr drive from Trondheim airport.

    Expensive yes, but my reccomendation hinges around value for money. This delivered in every sense. About half the cost of Porsche camp 4/5.

    Get it booked!

  • moribund 01 Mar 2013

    Was one day enough on the ice, do you think 2 days would be too much? Just wondering about maybe organising a similar trip myself next year and sharing the car with some friends.

  • rawy 01 Mar 2013

    Came back from Pat Flynn's last week, was a great day in a 6pot BMW, About £400-500 for the day from memory for a car + access to lake & fuel.

    Shared the lake with a load of mad Dutch drifters in their own BMWS & Aaron Newby, UK rally driver.

    Would seriously reccomend going & spending a day with Connor & the lads.



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