Nokian winter tires on a roll with world's ice-driving record

Jan. 1, 2020
A new world record for the fastest car on ice has been set by Nokian test driver Janne Laitinen, who achieved 206.05 mph on the Gulf of Bothnia in Oulu, Finland.
A new world record for the fastest car on ice has been set by Nokian test driver Janne Laitinen, who achieved 206.05 mph on the Gulf of Bothnia in Oulu, Finland.

The record was broken on a 14-kilometre ice track in freezing conditions with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded tires in size 255/35R20 97 T XL.

“Testing at high speeds in demanding conditions forms an important part of our winter tire development,” says Matti Morri, technical customer service manager. “Testing our boundaries can teach us new things, which can then be reflected in all of our products.”

Extreme speeds emphasize the role of top-quality tires; they are the vehicle’s only contact point with the driving surface, according to Morri. When driving at exceptionally high speeds on slippery ice, the tire must provide maximal grip, excellent structural durability and handling properties that are in line with the car’s high power.

The acceleration formula is demanding, and the tires are under immense pressure at these high speeds. Their diameter can increase by 15-20 mm. As the air resistance increases, more traction is needed in order to pick up speed.

The Guinness World Records organization outlines detailed rules for ice-driving world records. The vehicle takes a flying start. The ice has to be natural and it may not be roughed up or treated with any chemicals, and the tires must be commercially available and approved for road traffic in the country where the record attempt takes place.

Nokian developed the world’s first winter tire for raw, subzero conditions back in 1934, according to Morri. Two years later, it introduced the Hakkapeliitta, designed for northern winters.

For more information, visit www.nokiatyres.com.

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