Where the side windows are more important than the windscreen…
They say driving on dirt makes a better racing driver, but if that’s the case then surely driving on ice must rank one level higher? Whether you’re a professional looking to hone your skills or just looking to have a bit of fun, there is no doubt that throwing a car around a frozen lake will make you a better driver while giving you an unforgettable experience at the same time.
After scanning through several websites related to ice driving I came across the Lapland Ice Driving site and was curious to find out more. Located in Arjeplog, Sweden which is more famous for being the home of the Aurora Borealis, the small little community transforms itself during the winter months into a sort of car tester’s paradise with several high-end brands opting to use the location to test some of their latest offerings, cars ranging from the Bugatti Veyron to the Porsche GT3 have been spotted here and manufacturers’ use the areas around Arjeplog by creating their own designated test tracks.
Coming to programs on offer Lapland Ice Driving, divides their programs into 3 classes based on the intensity of the program. The first one termed as “Performance” is targeted towards those who would like a more relaxed approach to their driving. This program is broken into five sessions that are thirty minutes in duration with an hour of rest in between each session. The second program which is the “Intensive” gives you more seat time and includes eight sessions which are thirty minutes each with only a half hour interval between each session. The final program on offer is the “Exclusive” whereas the name suggests you get a car and the track to yourself and you decide when you want to go out. The only drawback of this option is as the website mentions is a feeling of never wanting to stop!
It’s also important to note that all their programs feature in car personalised coaching so there is always someone next to you to guide you on what needs to be done while participants are also free to make use of the facility’s various clubhouses during the break, where they can recuperate and prepare for the next session.
Now comes the fun part, once you have decided what program is best suited for you, you get to choose your ride for the day. There are a total of seven cars on offer, with the Porsche Cayman S being the cheapest one, while the Ferrari 458 Italia being the most expensive car in their lineup. There’s also a Porsche 911 GT3, a Lamborghini Huracan alongside the aforementioned cars in their line up for the 2018 batches alongside a Ford Focus RS, Maserati GranTourismo Sport and Subaru Impreza WRX STI S with their impressive lineup of cars is completed.
But perhaps the unique feature that differentiates Lapland Ice Driving from the others that are out there is the fact that these guys have re-created the best Formula One tracks on which one could drive on. Yes, Lapland Ice Driving gives you the chance to sample what it would be like to drive on the Silverstone Circuit or at the short loop at Nurburgring if the track surfaces were completely frozen! These circuits are so accurate that professional drivers from Formula 3 and the GP3 Series come to Lapland to hone their skills for the upcoming season. Other circuits include 2018 Formula One venue Paul Ricard Circuit as well as an Oval for NASCAR fans along with a few other in-house custom courses designed for drivers of varying degrees of skill.
Though there are a few other options especially ones created by various manufacturer’s themselves (Porsche and Jaguar come to mind), none are as comprehensive and offer such a wide variety of cars to choose from, not to mention the fact that Lapland also counts four-time WTCC Champion Yvan Muller as one their ambassadors. The only drawback I can think of is that their programs have to be booked for a minimum of two days rather than one, though if budget isn’t a concern it’s more of a positive than a drawback really. To know more about Lapland Ice Driving, head over to their website.