From 1937 until 1974, Zell am See in Austria was the site for auto racing on ice events. One of the village’s current residents, Ferdinand Porsche, grandson of Ferry Porsche, father of the Porsche 356, is helping to bring back the ice-racing activities and has promised the entry of the 550 Spyder formerly owned by his grandfather.
This will not be the car’s debut on the ice. It raced at Zell am See with famed racer Kurt Ahrens driving. Only 82 such vehicles were produced, among them the one owned by American actor James Dean.
Ferdinand Porsche is organizing the return of the winter racing program with Vinzenz Gregor, his partner in Greger Porsche Classic Cars.
“The event was last held in 1974, more than 40 years ago,” Porsche said. “We are impressed by the big response we got when we announced our plans.”
GP Ice Race has registered with the Austrian Motorsport Foundation and will feature a track 600 meters in length. Famed racer Hans-Joachim Stuck will serve as a member of the race control team and as event ambassador.
There will be classes for open-wheel buggies, touring cars (with separate 2- and 4-wheel divisions), for vintage vehicles and for modern rally cars.
“We are currently talking with top teams and top drivers in this category,” Greger said of the R5 rally-car category. “We are looking forward to a high-class competition on ice.”
In addition, there will be classes for motorcycles with sidecars and a competition in skijoring in which people on skis are pulled by motorized vehicles or horses.
The inaugural GP Ice Race weekend is scheduled for January 19-20, 2019 on snow-and-ice covered runways at the old Alpen Airport.