By Denna Bowman
A new world record for fastest car on ice was set by Nokian Tyres’ test driver Janne Laitinen who drove at 206.05 mph on the Gulf of Bothnia in Oulu, Finland.
The leading winter tyres manufacturer equipped the record-breaking car with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded tyres (255/35R20 97 T XL) to break the record on a 14-kilometre ice track in freezing conditions earlier this month.
Matti Morri, Nokian Tyres’ Technical Customer Service Manager, explained: “Extreme speeds emphasise the role of top-quality tyres; they are the vehicle’s only contact point with the driving surface. When driving at exceptionally high speeds on slippery ice, the tyres must provide maximal grip, excellent structural durability and handling properties that are in line with the car’s high power.
“The acceleration formula is demanding. When a car moves at a speed of 331 km/h, the car covers over 92 metres in one second. The tyres are under immense pressure at these high speeds, and their diameter can increase by 15-20 mm. As the air resistance increases, more traction is needed in order to pick up speed.
“Testing at high speeds in demanding conditions forms an important part of our winter tyre development. Testing our boundaries can teach us new things, which can then be reflected in all of our products.”
The Guinness World Records organisation outlines detailed rules for ice driving world records. The time for the one-kilometre distance is taken for driving in both directions of the track, and the world record time is the average of these two results.
The vehicle takes a flying start. The ice has to be natural and it may not be roughed up or treated with any chemicals. The tyres must be commercially available and approved for road traffic in the country in which the record attempt takes place.