Ferry Porsche's 550 Spyder will go ice racing
Over 60 years after it competed in the Zell am See Ice Race, Ferry Porsche's 550 Spyder will return to attend the reborn event in 2019
The Zell am See Ice Race was quite the spectacle when it ran in Austria between 1937-'74. Watching powerful performance machines scrabbling for grip in these extreme conditions not only wowed the crowds, but was a true test of car control for the drivers. This classic event will be revived for 2019 and is to attract such cars as Ferry Porsche’s own Porsche 550 Spyder.
Nicknamed ‘James Dean’ after the famed actor and singer who was one of the 82 original customers for the 550 Spyder, this car has competed at Zell am See before. Some 60 years ago German driver Kurt Ahrens raced the Porsche at the Austrian event, making its attendance at the rebirth in 2019 historically relevant. Weighing just 550kg and powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, the Spyder could reach speeds of 135mph — not bad for 1953. Its mid-engine layout gave it an inherent advantage in motorsport.
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The Porsche 550 Spyder in question actually used to belong to Ferry Porsche himself, and it is his grandson Ferdinand who is one of the driving forces behind the GP Ice Race for 2019. Along with Vinzenz Greger, the pair want to make this event a true spectacle like it once was. Ferdinand Porsche said: “After all, the event was last held in 1974, more than forty years ago. We are impressed by the big response we got when we announced our plans.”
The Austrian Motorsport Federation has approved the event and the 600 metre-long track layout is currently being prepared. There will be several categories including open wheel buggies, touring cars, classics, and modern-day R5 rally cars. Also on the billing is the unusual sport of skijoring where skiers race around the track while being pulled by a car.
It’s great that this historic event coming back and we can’t wait to see ‘James Dean’ strutting its stuff on the ice on January 19/20 in 2019.
Images copyright: GP Ice Race
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