I’ve never been to GP Ice Race, so I can’t tell you much about it. But I do know that 1.) I like to make my life as difficult as possible, and 2.) I really love a long drive by myself.
So when I saw GP Ice Race as a ‘maybe’ in my Google Calendar last week, and a couple of ‘definitely maybe’ meetings in Germany, I immediately thought, ‘why don’t I fit winter tyres to that M3 CSL I own – which incidentally hasn’t worked properly for nearly a whole year – and drive it to Austria, via Munich’.
That makes perfect sense, right?
Before I’d even looked into how far the drive was, I was typing an email that went something like ‘Dear Redish Motorsport, please can you store a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s? Oh, and I might need one of your famous underside restorations on the CSL in March, too. I’ll call you to explain this afternoon’.
Now, as you might have noticed, Paddy McGrath likes to plan his road trips meticulously. Lists about lists are meticulously compiled. These are amalgamated and digitised. Then printed. Spare valve caps are packed, and fuel economy is calculated to an accuracy that even NASA would be proud of. Myself on the other hand? It’s a five-minute flurry of activity that usually happens not too far away from the time of departure.
To be honest, my main interest is the Chocomel in service stations (that’ll be Cécémel in Belgium), and Germany’s Autobahn. Fill the car with fuel, check tyre pressures, oil level and fire up Waze. What a perfect time to enjoy the freshly run-in 1,200 mile S54 motor, then.
Ah yes, about that. ‘The CSL will be fine’, I told myself. I should explain that thankfully, Redish has been looking after the car of recent. Boss man James R. has ironed out the many niggles it had after a brand new engine was fitted by a BMW dealer back in December 2018.
Right now it’s 11:40pm as I type these words, and the CSL saga is most definitely a story for another day. Plus, I might bore you to death before you even get to the photos. But suffice to say, Redish’s expert specialist knowledge gives me the confidence to jump in the car and cover more than 2,000 miles through France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and back again.
1,020 miles later and I’m in a place called Zell am See in Austria. It is absolutely beautiful here. At the Winter Olympics back in 1928, skiers were pulled across the racetrack at max speed by riderless horses. If only those crazy skiers had a YouTube channel back then, just think of the ad revenue!
Ten years later and motorised race tandems competed on the ice sheet of Lake Zell. After a 45-year respite, 2019 saw motorsport back on the lake thanks to Greger Porsche Classic Cars GmbH. We missed this event, but it looked too good to pass up in 2020.
Here’s a gallery of the setup which was shot just 30 minutes before the sun went down behind the mountains on Friday night.
Getting out of the UK this week for a proper long drive in the CSL and to witness some cars dancing on frozen water is the stuff of dreams. I couldn’t be more excited about seeing GP Ice Race with my own eyes this year. I’m going to get this post live before all the clouds arrive. Since you’re going to be able to see most of this unfold on social media, we’ll be bringing you the rest of the ‘Dancing on Ice’ in Zell am See via the Speedhunters Instagram stories.
Plus, since I left media accreditation very late, I dumped the E46 in a supermarket carpark and casually strolled into the paddock the night before the event. I am guessing the race might be a little trickier to shoot on a little Sony RX100, without a pass, but who knows. Either way, check out GP Ice Race’s page and the usual @thespeedhunters IG.
See you in another 1,000 miles for a road trip report. Let’s hope I am allowed back in the UK after Brexit. If not, you can find me somewhere in Germany, flat out in 6th gear, drinking chocolate milk.