Swedish Porsche Carrera Cup ace Pontus Fredricsson has won the Porsche Race Of Champions Snow + Ice Challenge at Sweden’s Pite Havsbad
Fredricsson prevailed after beating fellow Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia racer Edvin Hellsten in a nail-biting final on ROC’s parallel track, purpose built on the frozen Baltic Sea near the Arctic Circle
The two drivers reached the final after coming through a spectacular knockout competition featuring eight of Porsche’s rising stars and legends, including former F1 star Jan Magnussen and Le Mans winner Marc Lieb
Today’s event serves as a warm-up for next weekend’s ROC World Final, where some of the world’s greatest drivers – from series including Formula 1, NASCAR, Indy 500, Le Mans and world rally – will race at the same icy venue
The event, the first time the Race Of Champions has ever taken place on ice, will be broadcast LIVE on TV all over the world. For more details see below…
Swedish Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia racer Pontus Fredricsson put in a mighty performance to defeat seven fellow competitors to be crowned the Porsche Race Of Champions Snow + Ice Challenge Champion at Sweden’s Pite Havsbad.
The snow held off on an overcast day at this stunning venue on the frozen Baltic Sea just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, and the drivers took full advantage, putting on a spectacular show. All the action took place on the iconic Race Of Champions parallel track featuring a crossover bridge – which will also be the setting for next weekend’s ROC World Final featuring many of the world’s greatest ever drivers.
Today the focus was on the rising stars of the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia, most of them from host venue Sweden, along with Denmark’s former Formula 1 and Le Mans star Jan Magnussen plus Germany’s Le Mans winner and WEC champion Marc Lieb. All the races took place in the majestic Porsche 718 GT4 Clubsport.
In the end it was Sweden’s Fredricsson who came out on top, having defeated his fellow countryman – Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia race winner Edvin Hellsten – by two heats to one in the best-of-three final. Fredricsson won the first heat by 0.625s before Hellsten just pipped him in heat two by just 0.035s. That led to a decider, won by Fredricsson who duly claimed the winner’s trophy.
“I’m really happy to win!” said an exuberant Fredricsson immediately after the final. “This is great and it gives me confidence for the upcoming Carrera Cup season.”
Fredricsson reached the final by beating four-time Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia champion Lukas Sundahl in the semi-finals, while Hellsten prevailed over Porsche Carrera Cup race winner Hampus Ericsson.
The day’s action began with the quarter-finals over two heats, where Magnussen and Lieb were knocked out despite heroic efforts against the local competitors with more experience of racing on ice. Euro RX and Porsche Approved Cup champion Anton Marklund was another casualty at this stage after spinning in his first heat, while Porsche Carrera Cup racer Emil Persson also missed out.
Lieb summed up the spirit of the competition, adding: “It’s an honour to be asked to take part in the Porsche Race Of Champions Snow + Ice Challenge, and it was a great experience to race here with my friends in Sweden. Driving on ice on a track like this is similar to rallycross, which I’ve never done, so it was a new challenge learning how to feel the grip and take the corners. But the drivers are all very open about sharing tricks and tips on how to do it.
“Jan and I knew it would be hard to compete against the local guys and I didn’t have my cleanest runs today, but we came here for the show. The race format is fantastic, I’ve really enjoyed being here and driving on ice and snow is so much fun!”
Porsche Sweden Director Raine Wermelin added: “Today we have seen some impressive driving from eight quality racers in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. After a spectacular day of racing on ice, Swedish Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia star Pontus Fredricsson won the Porsche ROC Challenge. From Porsche Sweden we would like to thank the ROC organisation and all the drivers for making this special event happen.”
Today’s Porsche Race Of Champions Snow + Ice Challenge acts as a support race to kick-off a winter motorsport Festival lasting over a week at Pite Havsbad, all taking place on ROC’s iconic parallel track.
Among the competitors in next weekend’s ROC World Final are some of motorsport’s greatest superstars including four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, nine-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb and nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen. The line-up also includes double F1 world champion Mika Häkkinen, ten-time Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas, F1 racer Mick Schumacher, four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, World Rallycross Champions Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Petter Solberg, 13-time F1 grand prix winner David Coulthard and double W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick.
The action begins with the ROC Nations Cup, where the drivers team up in pairs to race for the title of world’s fastest nation (Saturday February 5, 12:00-15:00 CET). Then all cooperation goes out of the window for the individual Race Of Champions to crown the ROC Champion of Champions (Sunday February 6, 12:00-15:00 CET).
You can watch the event LIVE all over the world on networks including SVT1 and SVT Play (Sweden), C More Max and Cmore.fi (Finland), NRK (Norway), Canal + (France, Switzerland, Poland, Africa), Sky Sports Germany (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Sky Sports (UK, Ireland), Portable TV (much of Europe), NENT (Denmark, Iceland), Ziggo (Netherlands), Abola (Portugal), TV3 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Inception Media (Romania), RTL (Croatia), Cosmote TV (Greece), Cablenet (Cyprus), S Sport (Turkey), MavTV and MotorTrendonDemand (USA), REV TV (Canada), Fox Sports 3 (Latin America), ESPN4 (Brazil), Supersport (South Africa), Canal + and Supersport (Africa), J-Sports (Japan), Astro (Malaysia, Brunei), FPT (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam), EMTEK (Indonesia, Timor Leste) and HK-Cable (Hong Kong).
For access to rights-free high-resolution imagery and to keep up with all the latest news ahead of this year’s event please visit www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook plus @raceofchampions and #ROCSweden on Twitter.
Drivers competing in the 2022 Race Of Champions World Final
Sebastian Vettel – four-time F1 World Champion
Mick Schumacher – FIA F2 and F3 Champion
Jimmie Johnson – seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion
Mika Hakkinen – double F1 World Champion
Valtteri Bottas – winner of 10 F1 grands prix
Sébastien Loeb – nine-time World Rally Champion
Tom Kristensen – nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner
Johan Kristoffersson – four-time FIA World Rallycross Champion
Petter Solberg – FIA World Rally and World Rallycross Champion
Oliver Solberg – rising WRC star
Mattias Ekström – double DTM Champion and World Rallycross Champion
Helio Castroneves – four-time Indy 500 Winner
Colton Herta – youngest IndyCar Series race winner
Benito Guerra – reigning ROC Champion and Production WRC Champion
Timmy Hansen – FIA World Rallycross Champion
David Coulthard – winner of 13 F1 grands prix
Jamie Chadwick – double W Series Champion