Ice racing, a winter sport that originated from skijoring, has its roots in Scandinavia. Skijoring involved farmers using skis and either horses or dogs to pull them across the ice for transportation. Over time, ice racing became a popular recreational activity. In 1937, the town of Zell am See in Austria introduced ice racing as a new winter sport. The town is famous for being the home of the Porsche family. In 1952, an annual ice race named after Professor Ferdinand Porsche was established.
The event attracted participants on two wheels, four wheels, and skis, making it a unique and exciting challenge. However, in 1974, tragedy struck when a snowplow fell through the ice at Zell am See, resulting in the cancellation of the race and the death of the driver.
After a long hiatus, Ferdinand Porsche Jr. and Vinzenz Greger revived the tradition in 2019, bringing ice racing back for the 21st century. The 2021 event took place without spectators due to the global pandemic, but participants still eagerly participated in the races.
The motorcycles used in ice racing, such as Pedrosa's Red Bull Racing KTM RC16 MotoGP bike, are equipped with spiked tires measuring 30mm in length. These spikes provide traction on the icy surface, but checking their secure mounting before each run can be a daunting task.
If you want to experience the sound of ice racing, watch the embedded video at the top of this article. Although it is short, you can hear the bike in action as Pedrosa skillfully maneuvers it on the ice.
Let us know in the comments if you can master the art of leaning your knee on the ice without losing control. Join us in admiration of Pedrosa's skills, and feel free to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa with us.