The GP Ice Race has become a true phenomenon in the motorsport world through spectacles like DTM, endurance cars, and rally legends slithering around on the ice. Founders Ferdi Porsche and Tino Klein are two of the most passionate motorsport enthusiasts and were very happy to welcome RUF and Motul onto their beloved Austrian ice.
What’s the story of the GP Ice Race?
Ferdi: Well, it all started by spending a lot of time here in Zell am See. I spent so much time here in winter, and I started learning about the history of Zell am See and its connection with ice racing. It turns out that they used to race with horse carriages on the lake itself. I was wondering why this tradition had gone and why motorsport doesn’t have something similar. So, we started talking with some motorsport legends and the mayor of Zell am See and created the first GP Ice Race two years ago.
Ferdi, your family seems to have a very strong connection to Zell am See. Why is that?
Ferdi: My grandfather discovered Zell during a cruise on the Grossglockner mountain pass. It's a road that is still often used by car manufacturers to develop their cars in strenuous conditions. He fell in love with the town and decided to make it his home away from home. I pretty much grew up spending my winters here, and now, with the GP Ice Race, I spend even more time here.
This year there wan't a GP Ice Race because of the global pandemic, but you took the brand in a different direction. Can you tell us more?
Tino: Yes, we had the idea called Cold Start by GP Ice Race. Which is an event that doesn’t include fans or actual races. Instead of spending three days on the ice, we spent four weeks on the ice and invited friends and partners to make some fantastic content to share with the world.
We’re here together with RUF. What does a brand like that mean to you?
Ferdi: Being from my generation, I discovered RUF through video games. I was very honored to meet Alois a couple of years ago and started to learn more and more about the company. To be here with them on the ice today and to have a go in the original Yellow Bird is a dream come true.
Tino: Although they are a relatively small company, everyone knows about RUF. Whether that’s from a video game or the famous clip of the Yellow Bird drifting at the Nurburgring. The truth is they are a small company with a big brand, and we’re a small company with a growing brand, and it’s great to put these two together. On top of that, the passion that they have is incredible. Whenever we pitch them an idea, they usually say “yes, let’s do it” before I have even finished my sentence.