Ever wondered what it would be like driving a 911 in icy, arctic-like conditions? Well, I was lucky enough to recently find out. Not only that, but we were instructed by some of the best drivers in the world on how to send a 911 properly #slideways.
Every year, Porsche Canada puts on the Porsche Ice Experience, and every year I look on longingly via social media as the event is so close to Montreal. I never had the chance to participate, until now...
I really didn't know what to expect. I'd been to my fair share of drivers events and track days, but the concept of taking a brand new 911, slapping studded tires on it, and sending participants like myself out on an ice track almost sounded too good to be true. Especially considering the fact that my experience going slideways in a 911 was usually reserved to those "oh crap" moments, which I had yet to learn how to control.
We were told the most important part was to listen to our instructors, no matter what. Chances are, if we hadn't done much rally style driving, most of it was going to sound a little different compared to road or standard track driving. After a brief classroom course, I was nervous yet couldn't wait to get behind the wheel.
I knew that letting the back end slip out was normal, yet during our very first session as it inevitably occurred, I had the instinctual reaction --"this is wrong, how do I fix it" (see countersteer). Over the course of the next two days, I went from being slightly fearful to knowing what to do to initiate a drift, sustain it, and swing the car around from side to side to place it exactly where I wanted. A sensational feeling!
As most of you, I've spent a fair amount of time watching YouTube videos of drivers peddling 80's rally cars at near-death speeds with no margin for error. I've always wondered what that would feel like, and by the end of this course I was channeling my inner Walter Röhrl with a feeling of calm.
Let’s just take a second to appreciate this concept: a 911, drifting by with a massive wake of floating snow in its draft, driver looking to where the car is going, which is completely different from where the car is pointing, engine revving with ease. Am I alone to think this is poetry?
If you have ever felt the feeling, you’re probably already completely enthralled, and like me awaiting the next opportunity. If you haven’t, let me suggest Porsche Ice Experience as the perfect chance to understand exactly what propels the rally world of driving, and why it is not only uniquely special, but also a vital set of skills for proper driver training.
This event is not one I will ever forget. I would like to take this chance to thank both Porsche Canada, and the instructor team responsible for creating such a singular experience. This perfect storm was only made possible by: Porsche - the definitive car, Mecaglisse - the ultimate winter track, and the talented instructors and organizers that designed an exceptional event, executed perfectly.
All images shot by Peter Reid @p_reid & Claude-Alicia please contact for use. Written by Peter from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A huge thank you to Porsche Canada and all other persons involved in making this happen - Sport Driving Canada, Mecaglisse.