OULU, Finland (March 13, 2013) — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. test driver Janne Laitinen has set a new world record for fastest car driven on ice, hitting 208.6 mph on the Gulf of Bothnia in an Audi RS6 equipped with Nokian Hakkapelitta 8 studded winter tires.
Mr. Laitinen broke his own record from March 2011 by 2.5 mph, according to Nokian Tyres, which organized and underwrote the speed record attempt. The Nokian test driver set the record on a 7.5-mile course prepared by Nokian on the Gulf of Bothnia, an arm of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden.
The studs in a tire hit the ice 43 times in a second at speeds over 200 mph, a key to helping a car keep accelerating at such speeds, according to Matti Morri, technical customer service manager for Nokian Tyres. The Audi was fitted with size 255/35R20 97 T XL tires.
The record was recognized by Guinness World Records organization, which defines specific rules for the world record for driving on ice. The time for the one-kilometer distance is measured in both directions, with world record being the average of these two measurements.
The vehicle takes a flying start and must start the return run within an hour. The ice must be natural and not roughened or treated with chemicals. The tires must be commercially available and approved for road use in the country where the record is made, Nokian said.
Nokian has posted video of the attempt on its website.