If you’re not familiar with The GP Ice Race, then you’re missing out on one of the coolest auto experiences on planet earth. What began as a simple tradition has evolved into one of the most unique auto-centric festivals to be found, all located in the magnificent Australian alps. The race brings together modern circuit racers and rally cars, all to the frozen landscape with up to ten thousand fans—because there is nothing is like the smell of gasoline in the winter cold.
A little history lesson on GP and how it came to be today. Scandinavia’s skijoring, which translates to “ski-driving,” was originally a mode of transportation for farmers. Back in the day, a horse or dog would pull you from point A to B. It slowly evolved into a sport as the tow went from horses to horsepower with cars and motorbikes. Naturally, spectators gathered from afar to watch these wild daredevils glide like nothing they had ever seen before. Years later, in 1952, the sport promoted the Professor Ferdinand Porsche Memorial Race. This racing festival was then held on the frozen lake Zell for twenty years plus, and the tradition lives on in the modern era.
This year GP postponed the massive event due to the pandemic, but that did not stop the itch of a small list of drivers from coming out to melt the snow for a few laps on the tundra at Zell am See Airport. Thus giving the name to 2021, Cold Start by GP, which took place without any public in attendance.
It was a glorious day for Porsche fans with the likes of The Porsche 911 of the GP team alternating between zebra à la Serengeti and psychedelic patterns. The show stopper was the Porsche 911 GTi Evolution from Zufferson, one hell of a forest green mean machine that made any onlooker drool. Before you knew it, Norwegian Ski World Cup Champion Aksel Lund Svindal was being pulled by pulled around for a little Skijöring—how fitting.
GP Ice Race has used the downtime this year wisely, making big plans for next year with the integration of an 800m runway into the event, as well as more top-secret additions. So, buckle up and full speed ahead to next year. Until then, let the photos below be no excuse not to book your ticket to the alps in 2022.