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Guide to Winter Motorsports

Most motorsport cars are tucked away at the first sign of winter and left to hibernate for several months. For the more adventurous types though, the winter signals a time for real adventure. Here is how to get your motorsports fix when the weather is decidedly grim.

Winter Rallies

Rallies aren’t just for summer, they’re for Christmas too! To participate in rallying you don’t need any special equipment or gear, it simply requires a driver, a navigator and a car, which make this sport wildly popular with driving enthusiasts. If you’re keen to give it a go, we would recommend a decent set of winter tyres!

Not convinced? Finnish drivers have dominated the rallying scene for a while now. One of the reasons for their success is that they learnt to drive on and then master icy roads; they honed their driving in some of the most difficult conditions and terrains.

Ice racing

Cars and motorcycles can both compete in ice racing, which usually takes place on frozen lakes, rivers or manmade ice rinks. Because of the temperatures required, ice racing is a popular sport in Canada, Northern US and Northern Europe. It is still popular in some warmer countries, where ice racing takes place at indoor events on ice hockey pitches – not quite as authentic, but still fun.

Here in Europe, ice racing has proved particularly successful in France, where the Trophée Andros series takes place. It’s so popular that the event is televised and attracts the likes of Olivier Panis and Alain Prost. Fun fact: the four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost is also a three-time winner of the Trophée Andros!

Freestyle Snowmobile Cross

Freestyle Snowmobile Cross is a bit like freestyle motocross but instead of bikes, riders use snowmobiles! They get up to all sorts of crazy shenanigans. Take American rider Levi LaVallee; he is now the world record holder for the snowmobile distance jumping record – 412 feet!

There are plenty of snowmobile races out there too. The longest, at over 2000 miles, is Alaska’s “The Iron Dog” heralded as the world’s longest and toughest snowmobile race! Vintage snowmobile racing has also grown in popularity in recent years, particularly on the Canadian prairie. And of course – there is The World Championship Hill Climb, held in Wyoming at the Snow King Ski Resort each year.


Now – this one is a bit obscure. In fact, it’s actually entirely mythical but we’re including it because it sounds a bit awesome!

Everyone has heard of curling, right? It’s a cross between bowling and shuffleboard but played on ice. Well legend has it that a group of petrol heads decided to come up with their own take on the sport and so ‘Carling’ was born. You just need a bigger rink, and you use cars instead of rocks.

Despite a fair bit of thought being put into this game, its name and rules, it seems like anyone is yet to actually organise a game of Carling! Anyone up for a match? 

Offbeat  08/12/2015 09:14:44

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