Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest freshwater lake in the world, sits in the Siberian region of Russia just north of the Mongolian border. Surrounded by mile high mountains, and subject to frequent tectonic movements, the 5000'+ deep lake is covered in ice up to 6.5' thick during the winter months. It was there, last week, that Mobil 1 made an attempt at the Russian Ice Speed record last set by a Nissan GT-R in 2013.
Using a completely stock Porsche Panamera Turbo S, Mobil 1 took part in the "Days of Speed" festival held on Olkhon, the largest island in the lake. With plans to get into the "Russian Book of Records" (Russia's answer to Guinness), Mobil 1 took a factory assembled Panamera Turbo S onto the frozen 10-kilometer track for two days of cold and slippery attempts.
Best as we can tell there are two records at stake:
1. Average Speed Over Time (they need to cover 10km at an average speed over 251.8 km/h
2. Maximum Achievable Speed (the Nissan set the record in 2013 at 294.8 km/h)
As if driving on ice wasn't dangerous enough, the whole area of Lake Baikal is subject to both frequent earthquakes and temperature changes. Both of which can cause cracks in the ice, as wide as 12' in spots, to suddenly appear. I wouldn't want to be racing a car at any speed knowing that I could get swallowed up by an icy chasm.
Right now, reports are thin as to the results of Mobil 1's attempt. We only have one badly translated report from http://infobaikal.ru that suggests the Porsche broke both records with an Averages Speed Over Time of 285 km/h and a Maximum Achievable Speed of 295 km/h. Both, if true, should be enough to set a new Russian Ice Speed record. Interestingly, the driver of the Porsche - Andrei Leontiev - is the same Russian jouranlist who set the record in 2013 driving the GT-R.
We have inquiries into both Mobil 1 and Porsche for more details. We would love to know if any other manufacturer competed, what the Porsche was wearing for "shoes" and if there's a video of the record breaking run. We'll update this post as we learn more.
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