Freezing cold on average of minus 20 degrees Celsius changes the Siberian Baikal Lake from the beginning of November until the end of March into a giant ice rink. The ice layer is approximately 70 to 85 cm thick. Underneath the water reaches 1.641 meter in depth.
On this exceptional venue, the “Days of speed” are held since five years. High-performance automobiles chase over the ice during this event to set speed records. On 24 March, the event took place again. This year, it was to prove the vehicles on the long haul distance. The team Bentley and Pirelli succeeded to set a new world record in the category maximum average speed.
In a Bentley Flying Spur equiped with Pirelli Sottozero series 2 / W12 gauge, the Russian European motor racing ace Andrei Leontiev and his team covered the distance of 1,006 kilometers in 11.01 hours. Their maximum average speed was 94 km/h. Andrei Leontiev, Maxim Leonov and Kirill Larin driving took their turns during the journey.
Adverse weather conditions like cold and stormy wind were no reason to interrupt the journey. The car remained all the time on the ice and only stopped for refuelling, as well as to change the driver.
The so-called coefficient of friction on a surface of the ice is ten times weaker when compared to a wet road surface. This is a real tough test for winter tires. On the Lake Baikal, the Pirelli Sottozero series 2 had to overcome an additional difficulty. Due to the unusual heat, the ice surface melted during the event between 11: 00 and 15:00. During this time a water film was on the ice. This made it difficult for drivers and tires more difficult, to keep the course during the high speed.
The Pirelli winter tires withstood the enormous stress over eleven hours. It is not the first time that Pirelli was racing on icy conditions. The tire manufacturer has over 40 years experience in the equipment of rally vehicles for world and European Championship races on snow-covered and icy runways. Regardless this record attempt, Pirelli has already set a speed record in Finland with Bentley.
- Maximum average speed: 94 km/h
- Maximum speed during training: 262 km/h
- Maximum speed during the record: 239 km/h
- Number of rounds during the record: 116
- Length of round: 8.680 m
- Distance traveled: 1,006 km
- Number of the change at the helm: 6