Bentley hosted an extraordinary driving experience in February and March of 2009 with the remote snowscape of Finland as a backdrop. Harnessing the power of 560 horses on a surface of pure ice it may seem like a contradiction in terms, but in actual fact these two elements form the basis of a truly unique driving experience.
The British luxury car manufacturer Bentley offered its customers and any other interested parties the trip of a lifetime in the far north of Europe. And not for nothing has it dubbed the event 'Power on Ice'. The Bentleys awaiting the participants in this driving extravaganza were 560-610 hp cars from the Continental series. After receiving a briefing from accomplished instructors the drivers took to the road across a frozen lake in the centre of Finland. Temperatures as low as -30 degrees are no rarity in the region, yet they also help ensure that the ice presents a perfect surface on which to drive.
The motoring conditions at this location a mere 60 km from the Arctic Circle are no less unique than the programme itself. Bentley used the skills of the team around Finnish rally star Juha Kankkunen. Kankkunen has notched up countless wins in his rally-driving career, among them four world titles. In March 2007 he also set a new world speed record for driving on ice - using a Bentley Continental GT on a frozen bay off the coast of Finland. In his native Finland Kankkunen enjoys a status akin to that of a national hero and there can be few others who can claim better knowledge of the demands placed on ice-road drivers at this site.
Quite apart from the thrilling hours spent at the wheel of a Bentley guests received first-class service in specially designed accommodation. In the small town on Ruka, approx. 800 km north of Helsinki, Bentley created its own private holiday village consisting of a small boutique hotel and a number of exclusive chalets. Guests enjoyed all modern conveniences, with staff on hand around the clock. Food was prepared by renowned Finnish chef Jarmi Pitkänen. The programme also featured guided snowmobile trips and a dog-sledding excursion, with guests free to try their hand at driving a team themselves.
The latest Power on Ice programme is the fourth of its kind and follows successful events held in the winters of 2006, 2007 and 2008.