Kimi Räikkönen was the headline act at the ‘Race of Stars’ this weekend; a unique activity staged in Moscow, Russia where drivers take to a temporary track covered entirely with ice within Moscow’s Hippodrome.
Alongside fellow 2013 Formula 1 competitor Charles Pic, Kimi competed in races using specially adapted Renault Duster and Logan cars; the all-terrain, lightweight 4×4 vehicles from the French marque.
The Race of the Stars is one of the longest-running motorsports events staged in Russia, with 23 editions to date. The concept of the race is simple; all competing drivers [selected from various motorsport disciplines in Russia and beyond] take part in qualifying before being divided into four test groups. After four 15 minute semi-finals, the grand finale takes place with a three-loop sprint around the arena. The winner of this event was then pitted against Kimi and Charles to decide the ultimate victor.
Some of the biggest names in the discipline have competed in the event, including four-times Formula 1 World champion Alain Prost, Grand Prix winner David Coulthard and Kimi’s team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Kimi already has significant experience of driving on ice and not just from his days back in Finland, having competed in the FIA World Rally Championship for two seasons with entries into the Arctic and Sweden rallies in 2010 and 2011.
KR: “It was good to be back on an ice track after a while away. It made a change from Barcelona and my regular Formula 1 car! You need a very different driving style on ice; you have to be very smooth on the throttle and brakes and feed the steering in, but a small drift can also be pretty fun… I enjoyed it, particularly seeing so many fans out here.”
Kimi Raikkonen and Charles Pic flew straight from Barcelona Formula 1 testing on Saturday to Moscow to be special guests in the Race of Stars ice event.
Za Rulem magazine’s ice racing event in a hippodrome, first held in 1978, attracts national drivers from many different disciplines.
Every year representatives from Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship are also invited, with previous guests including Sebastien Loeb, Alain Prost, David Coulthard and Vitaly Petrov.
Pic and Raikkonen started their day with a duel in Renault Dusters, where the Lotus driver’s rally experience showed as he led at first before slowing as Pic came through to win.
In the main progamme, former Lada World Touring Car driver Kirill Ladygin was declared the winner after Russian rallycross champion Dmitry Bragin’s exclusion due to missing headlights. It was a record fourth win for Ladygin.
The F1 guests then tried to beat Ladygin on his home ground. This proved impossible for Caterham man Pic, but Raikkonen pushed the Russian quite hard end even briefly overtook him at one point.
“We have a long history, Finland and Russia,” said Raikkonen. “It is nice to have fans from here and hopefully they will come when a race will be here [at Sochi].”
TurunSanomat article (Translation courtesy of Nicole)
Kimi Räikkönen and Charles Pic took part in Russian All Stars race as invited guests to race with Russian racing drivers on an ice-track in Moscow.
Although the visit on Saturday was a PR-event for Räikkönen and Pic, the Russian champions were racing seriously. Russian’s oldest car-magazine “Za Ruljom” (Behind the steering wheel) arranges this traditional race.
They also have a tradition of inviting international stars to Moscow. Because Renault sponsors the event they sent Räikkönen and Pic there.
Räikkönen and Pic drove VIP-guests and media reporters around the track in a small Renault Logan.
In between races the F1 drivers raced each other and Räikkönen was much more faster than Pic, as was expected too.
At the end of the event they arranged two super finals where each driver faced the winner of All Stars race, the champion of touring-racing Kirill Ladygin, in a duel.
Ladygin, who is a real professional, beat Pic easily but the situation with Räikkönen was completely different. Kimi battled until the end and was twice just about to overtake Ladygin. However the Russian pilot managed to maintain his position to the finish line and Kimi followed in second place.
After the race Ladygin confessed to the Russian media that the guests weren’t offered enough of time to practice and didn’t because of that know these cars as well as the Russian drivers.
Videos of Race of Stars event: