Sliding into the record books
Welcome to Krokom in central Sweden, about 20 km from the famous town of Östersund. It’s Thursday 19 January 2023, 11:00 am in the morning. Sunlight is a scarce commodity, as anyone who’s ever been to such latitudes in winter months will confirm. The Stortjärnen lake is frozen solid to say the least and the temperatures are way below zero all day long.
It's the fourth day on location for the Škoda team. The past days were filled with numerous practice runs with different tyre combinations. A total of 18 hours of drifting were put in across the full five days in sub-zero temperatures to achieve the perfect drift. The goal? Two new world records for drifting on ice.
With a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ adjudicator and international drifting judge David Kalas present as witnesses, motoring journalist Richard Meaden sits behind the wheel of the Škoda Enyaq RS iV. In 2011, the British driver set a new Southern Californian Timing Association (SCTA) Land Speed Record for a 2.0-litre forced induction production car of 365.450 km/h (227.080 mph). Driving a UK-built Škoda Octavia RS, the record was set at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA.
The car completed a record 39 laps of the drift circuit in 15 minutes and 58 seconds.
Now, Meaden returns with Škoda and the RS nameplate to set yet more records, this time two official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ titles. The first one claimed is “Longest Continuous Vehicle Drift on Ice”, the other the “Longest Continuous Vehicle Drift on Ice (electric car)” in the same vehicle.
The circular track on the lake measures 188.496 m in circumference. Driving the recently launched Škoda Enyaq RS iV SUV, Richard Meaden holds the car in a controlled slide for 7.351 km (4.568 miles), beating the previous record of 6.231 km (3.872 miles), set in China in 2022 with a petrol-powered car. It’s a remarkable show of skill, and not only does this stunning drift break the first record, Meaden and the Škoda Enyaq RS iV simultaneously set a second record for the Longest Continuous Vehicle Drift on Ice (electric car).
Despite the brutal conditions, the Enyaq RS iV SUV’s performance is consistently strong. The car powers round the drift circle 39 times during the 15 minutes and 58 seconds of its record-breaking run, where it also achieves a top speed of 48.69 km/h (30.25 mph) and is travelling at 31.64 km/h (19.66 mph) at its slowest point.
The new record-holder, Richard Meaden, says of the triumph: “Being back behind the wheel of another record-breaking Škoda is pretty special, going from the Bonneville Salt Flats of the USA to a frozen lake in Scandinavia – setting two different records in two very different cars. I’m incredibly proud to be part of a record-breaking team again 12 years on – who would have thought we’d be here drifting an electric car on ice? It shows just how much the automotive world is changing, and how exciting it is too.”
The Škoda Enyaq RS iV was driven to this record by motoring journalist Richard Meaden.
More on the Škoda Enyaq RS iV on frozen lake can be heard on the Simply Clever podcast:
With the help of studs
The standard production car used to complete the record was fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels. The Däckproffsen “event tyres” (sourced from Michelin) 245/35-R20 tyres on the front had 600 5 mm studs, enabling greater traction and steering input on the frozen grip-less surface; whilst the Nokian Hakkapelitta 255/45-R20 tyres fitted on the rear wheels had 300 2 mm studs across the tyre surface, which proved the ideal combination for a controlled slide on the 40 cm deep ice surface.