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Old 02-20-2019, 10:24 PM   #1
Drives: 2009 5-door, 5-speed
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 684
Yaris adventure 2019: Ice Racing!

I'd never raced on ice before, and had some studded tires sitting around so I took the little car to an Ice Attack event. Time Attack, but on ice. You are supposed to do a slower IceX event prior to Ice Attack, but due to weather and conflicting race schedules I wasn't able to do IceX. I asked if I would be allowed to attend Ice Attack despite that and was told my experience was enough to meet the requirement. So we do the parade laps, and my tire pressure was to high and car was sliding excessively. Dropped pressure and started heat 1. My 2nd lap in I literally thought to myself "I don't belong out here. I don't know wtf I am doing!" and was very much regretting not attending an IceX prior. I felt like I couldn't get the car to do anything, and was getting flagged to the passing lane almost every lap (having a car in my heat on racing-studs didn't help). Driving on ice is so different than pavement or gravel but by the end of the 2nd heat, I was starting to learn the nuances of ice. Heat 3&4 I was pretty comfortable in the car, though still learning. Day 2 went well, though the surface had less grip and times were a bit slower. End result I was quite pleased with my driving, and even got the world's smallest trophy (2nd place in 2wd street-stud). Looking back at the onboard video, I didn't do as poorly my first few laps either, but I sure felt useless.

As far as the driving goes, you really have to reprogram your brain/reflexes. The steering wheel does not turn the car at all at speed. It's just used to transfer weight, and the rear end sliding out is what steers the car. You have to NOT correct the slide until you have the car aimed where you want it. This is tough as you reflexively will dab throttle or countersteer to straighten out. Once you get used to that, the next problem is you forget what position the steering wheel is in. So mid slide, the car gets a little front grip and suddenly bugs out to the side 10ft before you realize the steering wheel was upside down . Speeds on the straight were a little over 100kph.

Video of my best lap below. Also includes my biggest oops of the weekend (may have a small dent on my quarter panel from it). Lap looks boring, but it's because I was keeping it tidy and trying to maintain momentum. Keep in mind though, that any time the car turns, it's actually the rear end sliding out and not the front turning.

Time stamps in comments.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:29 PM   #2
Drives: 2009 5-door, 5-speed
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Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 684
One more photo. Also, this may be the last adventure for the little car. I'm looking for my next daily-driver/winter-racecar. Going to miss the little bugger if so.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:59 PM   #3
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Beyond cool!
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:19 PM   #4
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That looks so fun
I'm a hermit named Lee
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
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Always wanted to try that. Looks like a lot of fun.
2005-2008 SCCA Solo BS National Champion
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:08 PM   #6
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We have a series here in Ontario and I was supposed to run a few rounds of the Lexus sport cup but the team is having car problems so it looks like it may not happen.

I've always wanted to run on the ice but with the instability of our weather you never know if you're going to get a season or not.

Last edited by suprf1y; 02-21-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:31 PM   #7
Drives: 2016 Toyota Yaris LE
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It looks insanely fun. What winter tires are you using?
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:14 PM   #8
Drives: 2009 5-door, 5-speed
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Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 studded. Generally considered the best off-the-shelf tires for snow/ice. I bought them to do a winter TSD rally and they were pretty impressive:

If I were to try and compete at ice racing in Street Stud class I would probably buy a cheaper set of unstudded tires and install the longest studs I was allowed. Especially if in something more powerful than a Yaris. On polished ice the studs are what are doing the work more than the rubber.

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