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How to drive fast… on ice

  1. Keen connoisseurs of all things Top Gear will already know that the new edition of our magazine has just hit the newsstand. And this month’s a bit special - we’ve taken ten iconic cars onto a massive ice lake in Sweden to see if four-wheel drive really is the future.

    While we were there we also got some ice driving lessons from Ted Persson: a rallyist with ten years of gripless, freezing experience. Our learner car? A 2.3-litre Volvo 940 racer with 550 studs in each tyre.

    This is what we learned…

    Words: Piers Ward
    Pics: Lee Brimble

  2. Oversteering allows you to drive through the corner, getting the power down more quickly. And this is how you do it on ice…

    Approach the corner at speed and turn in sharply about 30 yards before you think you need to. Lift off the throttle at the same time to throw the weight over the nose - the front tyres will bite and the rears will slip.

  3. If it’s a slower corner, dip and release the clutch pedal quickly (called a ‘clutch kick’ in traditional drifting) and keep the throttle buried to achieve the same effect as before.

  4. You don’t use the brakes all that much. Ted encourages a much higher entry speed than any sane person would think possible, and the ensuing controlled slide scrubs the speed off naturally.

    But…

  5. …If you enter the corner too fast and start to understeer, dab the brake with your left foot while balancing the throttle with the right. This helps push more weight over the front end, so the nose grips and cancels the understeer.

  6. Don’t kill the oversteer too quickly. You need to prolong the slide, keep the momentum up and use it to maneuver the car into the next corner.

  7. Pick a point way beyond the natural exit of a corner and aim to keep the oversteer going until then. If you do this, there’s no longer any need to induce oversteer into each individual turn, because now it flows from the previous one. The car transitions with a flick from, say, a left-hand bend to a right-hand one naturally.

  8. Don’t be an idiot and start using your newfound skills on public roads - book your own Swedish ice lake adventure at Kall Auto Lodge. It’s two-and-a-half hours drive from Trondheim airport and really rather nice inside.

    Kall instructors teach ice-craft using AWD VW Golf Rs and RWD Porsche 911s - both on studded tyres. Which is precisely as fun as it sounds.

    Click here for Kall’s website

    Now watch our video

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