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Historic Ice Trophy 2020 - Race report


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The Historic Ice Trophy took place from January 20th - 26th 2020 in Altenmarkt/Zauchensee, Austria. Approximately 80 participants with vehicles in the categories classic cars built up to 1984 and youngtimers built up to 1994 were at the start.

Peter Trippacher and his team were among the participants, who has provided us with a report on his participation in the Historic Ice Trophy 2020 below.

6-hour races from 1986 onwards

For this race we used our Volvo 740 2,3l 113 PS. After we had already noticed during comparison drives against my Mercedes 190 on the lung ring that the Volvo can build up a lot of grip and torque, it was not particularly surprising for us, in contrast to the competition, that we were able to keep up with the lap times of the Porsche 911 in the training and also in the race, and in part even undercut them.

But everything in sequence.

In free practice we occupied the 5th place out of 28. In the night qualifying we were able to work our way forward by one place and achieved the 4th starting position for the race the next day. The next day, punctually at 07:00 am the 6-hour race started. We could immediately put pressure on the Swiss 911 in front of us. The fastest laps of the race are driven in the first 3 laps, as the ice is still the most grippy at this time. We reached our fastest lap in the second round, which was only 5 hundredths slower than the Porsche.

Volvo 740 - Historic Ice Trophy 2020

Volvo 740 - Historic Ice Trophy 2020

Unfortunately, the Swiss pilot turned directly in front of us, so that we could not penetrate the inside of the curve and were overtaken by 2 cars.
After about 2.5 hours driving time, I handed over our speeding wall unit on P3 to Hannes, who, in contrast to some of his opponents, did his laps without a ride or accident.

In the 66th race lap we made our second of three compulsory driver changes and I took over the 740 again. In the meantime, in contrast to the starting phase, you had to find a completely different line to be able to drive fast laps. After another 21 laps we came to our last driver change and at the same time the only refueling stop at the pits. This had to be fast and without mistakes, because the team behind us didn't need to refuel.
So we got out of the driver's seat, Hannes got in, walked around the car and in the passenger seat back into our device, while the rest of the team fed the thirsty Swede with the petrol canister.
We got back on the track in time before the BMW in 4th place and in the last turn we were constantly 3 to 4 seconds per lap faster than our pursuers.
After 99 laps we steered our good 740 lying on the third place to the winner photo on the start-finish straight.

6 hour races up to 1985

For this race I have brought my completely new built Saab 99 16v Turbo T5 to the start, in which the experiences of the previous years have been incorporated.

We could already finish the training with the absolute fastest times on P1. Thus we were of course allowed in qualifying as the first car on the track. But the car felt completely different on the first few metres, it didn't build up any boost pressure, understeered and oversteered, it felt like a flat tyre. So I had to crawl around the track for the first lap and let the whole field overtake. Arriving at the pits it turned out that the handbrake was frozen on the left rear wheel during the time between practice and qualifying. After a few brave loosening exercises the chase went on to the pole position. But now I had over 30 cars in front of me. After a lot of overtaking manoeuvres we were able to fight for second place on lap 4.

Saab 99 16v Turbo T5 - Historic Ice Trophy 2020

Saab 99 16v Turbo T5 - Historic Ice Trophy 2020

Again at 07:00 in the morning the 6 hour race started. Already in the first turn I was able to overtake the pole setter and take the lead. Afterwards we were able to pull away from the field with about 4 seconds per lap.
After 43 leading laps and over 4 minutes ahead of P2 we took turns at the steering wheel for the first time. Hannes took over the car again and could immediately drive the required lap times. In the 70th lap suddenly a radio message came out of the car that the engine had stopped and was difficult to start again, first suspicion tank empty.
Car will come to the pits in the next lap, we fill up to the brim and do a quick check. I jump back into 99 and try to keep the lead, but the engine dies off in every left turn.

Technical failure after more than 70 laps at the top, similar to 2019 where we also stopped in the lead with a broken primary drive.

As we couldn't find the fault on the track and the afternoon was race-free, we loaded up the Saab and drove to our Saabspezis Sepp and Sepp Sticht Junior to find out the secret of the turbo with the help of the testers. Shortly before the two of them arrived I had an idea what it could be. The catchtank we installed is filled on the right side with the help of a pre-feed pump and canceled on the left side with a second pump. Since the engine ran straight ahead and in right turns without any problems, the fuel filter in front of the pre-feed pump had to be clogged. Promptly the suction pipe as well as the filter was so clogged that the first pump had only minimal gasoline flow and therefore could not fill the catch tank. The tank was cleaned in advance, but due to the stress on the track, it seems that still existing incrustations had loosened from the tank walls. Thereupon we cleaned the complete system and installed a 12 mm suction pipe, promptly the engine ran again without grumbling.
So we started again on the motorway and to Altenmarkt, because there was still one race to race for the 99.

4-hour races up to the year 1976

With a little bit uncertain if everything is 100% working again we could finish the training with 0,2 seconds behind last year's winner Käfer on P2. In the following qualifying we pressed everything out of the 2 litre turbo and could reach the pole position with almost 4 seconds ahead of the second placed car.

Saab 99 - Historic Ice Trophy 2020

Saab 99 - Historic Ice Trophy 2020

On Saturday at 08:00 in the morning we started our third endurance race this week. Due to the somewhat milder temperatures during the night, the track was a bit more slippery this time from the beginning, which caused us a bit more problems in the fast uphill section compared to the rear-wheel drive cars with a barrier. But I was able to set the pace from the top and after 35 laps I handed over to Hannes again with a 35 second lead. On this day he had a bit more problems to find the necessary grip and did not feel 100% comfortable in the car. He finished his turn again safely and without failures and handed over our bike to me again on the 50th lap. Shortly after that I suddenly had to fight with a loose steering column while braking from the fastest passage (the lower retaining bar was torn).

After another 4 laps I made a driver change without driver change. (Driver gets out, runs once around the car). In the remaining time we were able to set much faster times than the leading Opel Ascona but it was not enough to catch up with the leading Opel Ascona. We finished this year's Historic Ice Trophy 2020 in second place in the 4-hour race.