Skip the ski holidays and head to the Arctic Circle this winter for the Spirit of Speed ultimate Porsche 911 ice driving experience.
Perhaps you’ve done Niseko and Whistler to death and you’re looking for the next winter adrenalin hit. Or perhaps you’ve been a Porsche fan since you first pinned a 911 poster to your bedroom wall. Either way, this exclusive ice driving experience is neither for the frugal nor the faint of heart.
This January, you’ll be able to experience an adrenaline rush like no other while pushing the limits of rally-prepared air- and water-cooled Porsche 911s across breathtaking landscapes of snow and ice during the Kalmar Beyond Adventure Spirit of Speed Arctic adventure, taking place near Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland.
You’ll travel to the breathtakingly beautiful Arctic Circle to a remote rally driving facility that offers unrivalled fast and challenging driving stages through dense forests and across frozen lakes, both by day and night. The site’s rally, super and rallycross stages, varying in length up to 12km, are used by FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) teams and drivers for testing, and provide a variety of challenges and difficulty levels to suit ever likely lad.
You’ll choose your ice weapon from a wide selection of rally-pimped Kalmar Porsches, from air-cooled classic 911 (964 and 993) to water-cooled 911 (996) youngtimers in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. The modern mid-engined Cayman R can also be put to the test; based on the 987-series Cayman, this Kalmar-prepared car is an agile off-roader, perfectly balanced to tackle most terrains with outstanding handling and a lightning-fast PDK gearbox.
With more than a decade of experience preparing Porsches for adventures in extreme and arduous environments, each model has been built to offer a safe, reliable experience that is both fun and educational. Each model, built by sister company Kalmar Automotive, has undergone extreme weight saving measures, features competition specification suspension, sports seats, belts and roll cages, along with full underbody protection.
All 911s have manual transmissions with driving aids limited to anti-lock brake systems (ABS), which can be disconnected upon request, you know, if you want to live dangerously.
To keep these stunning machines adhered to the ice they are fitted with genuine WRC studded tyres – the exact model that has won WRC Rally Sweden titles. These narrow 105 to 135mm patterns are equipped with 384 tungsten-tipped 6mm metal studs (yes, like in James Bond) to bite into the ice and deliver superior control and confidence.
Ideal for both first-time ice drivers and those with more experience, behind-the-wheel activities and one-to-one tuition are personalised to each guest’s capabilities and goals. On certain dates, amongst the hand-selected, highly-experienced driving tutors will be two-time FIA World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm.
The Finnish rally legend – known as the ‘Bosse’ in his native Scandinavia – is one of the most successful WRC drivers of all time, securing 30 rally wins and 61 podiums on his way to his two titles.
Three driving packages are available: Arctic Control, Arctic Race and Arctic Team. For both experienced and new extreme drivers, the two-day Arctic Control programme will help master the art of driving on ice – starting slow and finishing fast (just how you like it). Participants will perfect section training and progress to full track driving and magical night-driving sessions, with fast-track opportunities for the more experienced.
For those looking for the next challenge, the Arctic Race programme helps hone performance and speed, pushing these to new heights. It takes all the elements of the Arctic Control package to the next level for extreme excitement against the stopwatch. This real rally experience – including pace notes – will have guests racing against each other through forests on long undulating tracks with plenty of interesting and potentially unnerving corners.
Finally, the Arctic Team package offers a fully bespoke programme, created especially for groups to meet their goals and driving desires.
At the end of your driving days you’ll retire to the Glass Resort Premium Lodge, which blends modern Nordic design and architecture with home comforts. Each evening, a private chef prepares delicious local cuisine, with guests then having the opportunity to relax in the lodge’s sauna, outdoor hot tub, or cosy lounge areas, before retiring to private rooms that feature glass walls and ceilings for a spectacular view of the stars, and potentially a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
If the four-day driving experience doesn’t blow out all the cobwebs, you can also add on optional Arctic experiences such as snowmobile driving, husky or reindeer sledding.
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