Nokian Tyres Carry Rally Champ to Ice Speed Record
A new world record speed for driving on ice has been achieved using a vehicle fitted with Nokian Hakkapeliitta studded winter tyres. Four-times world rally champion Juha Kankkunen reached a speed of 321 km/h on a track that had been ploughed on the ice in the Gulf of Bothnia on Finland’s west coast, next to the city of Oulu.
According to stringent rules laid down by the Guinness Book of World Records, the speed was measured over a distance of one kilometre in both directions within a period of one hour; the measuring point was in the middle of a straight part of the track. As per the rules the record attempt was performed on natural ice that had not been roughed up or had any chemical treatment applied. Furthermore, the tyres needed to be approved for road traffic in the country in which the record attempt took place.
The Bentley Continental GT used for the record attempt was equipped with Nokian Hakkapeliitta Sport Utility 5 studded winter tyres, a product designed and developed for urban SUVs. When driving on slippery ice at a very high speed, the tyres and studs have to endure exceptionally demanding conditions. As air resistance increases at high speeds, more traction is needed in order to pick up speed. The tyres are under immense pressure in such conditions, and their diameter can increase by 15-20 mm.
According to Nokian the Hakkapeliitta tyres performed very well in this demanding wear test, the tyres’ grip was as good as hoped for and none of the studs came off.