Using the guidelines set forth by the Guinness Book of World Records for such things, Laitinen averaged 208.602 miles per hour (335.713 kilometers per hour) over the course of two runs on natural, untreated ice. Another constraint is that the ice speed record must be done using commercial available tires, which is obviously great PR for the new Hakkapeliitas. The press release doesn't make any mention of how the RS6 was prepared to reach such high velocities, but the images of the car make it clear that this is no stock machine. Scroll on below to see the impressive video evidence of the Audi's record run.
Grip and speed like never before
The new world record for fastest car on ice was achieved by Nokian Tyres, inventor of the winter tyre, when test driver Janne Laitinen drove at a speed of 335.713 kilometres per hour (208.602 mph) on the ice of the Gulf of Bothnia in freezing winter weather. Grip and speed like never before were ensured by the new spearhead product for the world's leading manufacturer of winter tyres – the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 studded tyre (255/35R20 97 T XL).
At high speeds, a top-class winter tyre needs to have absolute grip, structural durability, and precise handling in order to manage the exceptional performance of a high-powered vehicle. The unique Nokian Eco Stud 8 technology used on this newest member of the legendary Hakkapeliitta winter tyre family ensures balanced lateral and longitudinal grip that can be felt as stable, predictable handling. Both of these are required at extreme speeds on uneven ice as well as during regular overtaking on winter roads.
- Relentless testing at the extreme limits always works to serve the interests of the consumer. We wanted to set an extremely tough challenge for the new Hakkapeliitta 8. At extreme speeds, the forces focused on the tyres are enormous, as the car travels over 93 metres per second and the studs hit the ice 43 times. As the air resistance increases, we need even more grip to accelerate the car. In addition to grip, handling and stability are also essential, says Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager for Nokian Tyres.
Same place, car and driver as before but now
new Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8
The car driven in this exceptional test by the company's own "Iceman" Janne Laitinen, who holds multiple world records, was an Audi RS6. The speed of Nokian Tyres' own test vehicle reached close to 340 kilometres an hour (211.27 mph) during the record. The new world record was achieved on 9 March near the city of Oulu, on an 12-kilometre (7.5 mile) track created on the ice of the Gulf of Bothnia.
Nokian Tyres and Laitinen, who has worked as a tyre testing professional for over twenty-five years, also hold the earlier Guinness World Record for fastest car on ice (March 2011: 331.61 km/h, 206.05 mph) and the record for driving on ice with an electric car (March 2012: 252.06 km/h,156.62 mph).
The Guinness organisation defines specific rules for the world record for driving on ice. The time for the one-kilometre distance is measured in both directions. The world record is an average of these two measurements. The vehicle takes a flying start, and the allowed time to achieve the record is only one hour. The ice must be natural, and it must not be roughened or treated with chemicals. The tyres must be commercially available and approved for road use in the country where the record is made.
The developer of the best winter tyres knows extreme conditions
Nokian Tyres is the world's northernmost tyre manufacturer. The company developed and manufactured the world's first winter tyre for the winter frost in 1934. Two years later, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta was born in the Nordic winter; it is already a legend wherever there are true winter conditions. The unique innovations have made Hakkapeliittas the winners of magazine tests year after year and decade after decade.
Since the beginning, careful testing and development by Nokian Tyres has been leading the way towards safer and eco-friendlier tyres. Far north of the Arctic Circle, Nokian Tyres has its enormous Ivalo Testing Center, spanning over 700 hectares, which is also known as "White Hell". Winter tyres are put to the test in extreme conditions around the clock.
The company is the only tyre manufacturer in the world focusing on products and services that facilitate safe transport in Nordic conditions. Its innovative tyres for passenger cars, trucks, and heavy machinery are mainly marketed in areas that are home to snow, forest, and demanding driving conditions due to changing seasons.