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Thrills & Chills on the 2024 Fats Ice Race: A Photographers Exhilarating Journey

This was my first time collaborating as a media consultant on this occasion. Final 12 months, my accreditation was rejected; then I acquired a ticket as a present from a buddy, however the occasion was cancelled resulting from an absence of snow (world warming?). Nonetheless, I went and located some new mates whom I’ve been maintaining with ever since… Anyway, we ought to be speaking about this 12 months’s occasion, proper?

The occasion itself befell on an airfield subsequent to Zell Am See, Austria. Its roots go far again in time. It has had its ups and downs, however because of the Porsche household, it’s been revitalised. It introduced a wonderful alternative for automotive lovers across the globe to get pleasure from traditional and new vehicles competing on ice, or to look at Skijöring (snowboarding whereas being pulled by a automotive). As you’ll count on from one thing backed by the Porsche household, you may at all times rely on some exotics both being exhibited or ‘thrashed’ across the monitor. This 12 months was no exception. Though temperatures have been excessive (in comparison with what’s wanted for snow and ice), Ferdi and the FAT staff did their greatest to maintain the snow intact and supply enjoyable for all members. They didn’t disappoint.

I arrived on day 0, stopping off to gather my media ticket on the native Skoda/VW dealership. At that second, I used to be shocked to see an actual, new 935 with particular FAT livery rising from one of many warehouses to go on to the monitor (later exhibited in entrance of the Porsche corridor). This prompted me to instantly head to the airfield to see what else I’d discover. It didn’t disappoint. I walked straight into an space the place Audi Custom was conducting a photograph/video session with Harald Demuth and an S1 Sport Quattro. Seeing every thing from the GT1 race automotive to a tremendous assortment of Spyder race vehicles despatched numerous shivers down my backbone.

Due to Audi Hungary, I had the pleasure of travelling in a brand new RSQ3, which was a very handy accomplice all through the complete journey. After sufficient wandering, I met a buddy in Zell who confirmed me round to {photograph} the Audi, fulfilling my a part of the cope with Audi Hungary.

The joy from the day’s occasions made me wanting to see what the subsequent day would carry and what else I might see, {photograph}, and expertise. I set out comparatively early to seize a number of the preparations and to {photograph} with out too many individuals round. The very first thing I caught was Ken Block’s Hoonitron being examined and videoed on the monitor – a spectacular view. That automotive continues to be bonkers, to not point out the legacy. Amongst the primary few vehicles on the monitor, I noticed 917cfk’s staggering recreation. Though it couldn’t full many laps because of the melting snow, it offered me with just a few good frames – a road-legal 917K on spiked wheels and skis on prime? Come on!

Because the day progressed, the snow started to soften considerably, posing severe issues for the organisers. The race itself needed to be cancelled, and sadly, we couldn’t see the Skijöring both. Nevertheless, this didn’t dampen anybody’s enthusiasm or diminish the environment of the occasion. As soon as the 4WD rally vehicles and expert drivers began smashing by the slush, they managed to cheer everybody up with a spectacular present. To prime every thing off, Pink Bull’s ‘Flying Bulls present’ carried out a formidable air show in the course of the break. We have been again to watching because the drivers grew to become extra acquainted and reckless on the monitor, once more offering a feast for the eyes and ears. Volkswagen stunned everybody with an unofficial public premiere, with model boss Thomas Schäfer, racing legend Hans-Joachim “Striezel” Caught, and six-time rally cross world champion Johan Kristoffersson drifting throughout the ice within the still-camouflaged next-generation Golf R.

As with a majority of these occasions, it introduced fairly a visitor checklist collectively. Whereas the Porsche household and RUF have been current, Automobili Amos showcased his newest restomod, the Delta Safarista. Competing have been Olympic and World Cup ski champion Marcel Hirscher, who evoked reminiscences of the late US drift star Ken Block within the electrically powered Audi S1 Hoonitron, former Formulation 1 driver Mark Webber (Porsche Taycan), and present Formulation 1 star Valtteri Bottas (Porsche 911 Dakar), who accomplished just a few laps on an unfamiliar monitor. Raimund Baumschlager, Austria’s 14-time nationwide rally champion, stirred up a number of snow within the Pink Bull Skoda, as did DTM champion Bruno Spengler within the Dakar Rally-winning MINI.

Thanks to everybody concerned. I hope you benefit from the footage that attempt to seize what this occasion meant to me. Due to the FAT staff for sustaining the occasion.

By the way in which, in case you dwell on the opposite facet of the pond, the excellent news is {that a} comparable occasion (in all probability with extra snow and ice) is about to happen in Aspen.

To prime off my extraordinary journey, I made a decision to return residence by way of a unique route. On the toll sales space, I noticed a mint-condition 959. My coronary heart skipped a beat, and by the point I realised what I had seen, it was gone. Nevertheless, this was not my final encounter with the automotive and its proprietor, however that might be one other story for you all.



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