There are some experiences which cannot be simply expressed in words or pictures. Even if it is taken by the world's best photographers in the most picturesque locations, like Finland, shooting with exciting cars like Audi RS etron GT or RS4 Avant; it just cannot explain the ICEDRIVE experience. It is now the second year, but this time, it was surely twice the adrenaline and fun. And if I had an option to stay there for 30 days, work, and drive sideways... I would happily do that. It is an expensive affair. Just the tickets, food & boarding for 3 nights, will be over 5 lakhs. Plus the cost of cars, trainers, and ice track which is carved out and prepared will add more to that. If you are a non-auto enthusiast, you will love it and if you are an Auto addict like me, then you have attained nirvana, through the ICEDRIVE experience.
A small ice town called Kittilia in Finland, where the airport from entry through check-in, to the tarmac to the plane would not take more than 15 minutes. The population is around 6000 and skiing is probably the only outdoor sport you can do. People are ever smiling and welcoming. Life takes a calm pace, and your heartbeat and mind both get into a relaxed zone from the chaos and humdrum of city life. Every hyperchore part of the rat race [ City life ] takes a back seat and seems trivial. Once on the ice track, speed, sideways driving, and drifting bring the chaos smilingly back, which breaks into loud laughter once you catch the slide and begin drifting at the corners.
Driving on ice is different. Driving on an ice track designed with race track inspiration… corners and snow banks on your side to act as a cushion once you have accelerated and lost control of the car, is a sport! A very expensive sport. Let's address the first one, regular driving on ice which I have done plenty of in Iceland and Helsinki. It’s all about braking slowly, going at a moderate speed, and having winter tires. At corners, you have to be gentle and always keep the ESC on. While driving on the Ice race track, first you are advised to keep the ESC off and use brakes and steering movement along with the acceleration pedals to get a drift. Importantly, the longer the car is driving sideways, the wider your grin is going to be. The cardinal rule that helped me out the most was to look much ahead of the immediate corner to where I wanted to go and the car involuntarily will get steered in that direction. Sometimes accelerate hard at the corner when you feel the tires are going inside the snow banks.
The Audi Trainers did a great job, keeping the chatter on the walkie, and coaching you to improve your driving skills at the race track. They are always watching along with your co-pilot, and by the end of it you become a better driver… both on and off the road and the overall ice environment! The view around you calms you down and makes you a better person and a better driver.
This has been an amazing experience and I hope that ice exists on earth for a long time! Driving on ice is simply put, an experience like no other. Slide away!