The Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole Goes Ice Racing

by Hagerty
1 March 2024 2 min read
The Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole Goes Ice Racing
Photos courtesy YouTube/Hagerty

The F.A.T. Ice Race in Aspen, Colorado, must be the coolest car event on the planet. Where else could you hope to see the 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 that won Le Mans sliding around on snow alongside a genuine Police Mini? At this inaugural running of the US edition of the F.A.T. Ice Race, Henry Catchpole soaks up the atmosphere, hitches a lift in a Group B Audi Sport Quattro S1, and drives three very different cars… and a piste basher!

FAT Ice Race Catchpole Porsche 964

The F.A.T. Ice Race is the brainchild of Ferdi Porsche, and in order to understand more about the event and the F.A.T. International brand, Henry jumped into the passenger seat of Ferdi’s rare 964 Carrera 4 Lightweight. One of just 20 cars ever produced, it is effectively a 964 RS with manually adjustable 4WD. Needless to say, Ferdi drives it with gusto and no little skill.

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FAT Ice Race Catchpole

First of the cars that Catchpole got to drive was the Corvette E-Ray. It proved to be one of the quickest cars around the snowy course, thanks to its clever hybrid all-wheel-drive system that utilises an electric motor on the front axle in addition to the 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated V8 powering the rear wheels. It also has heated seats and a heated steering wheel, which was nice – sideways, but snug.

FAT Ice Race Catchpole

Second on the driving list was Nismo’s Safari Z, which was created as a working concept for the SEMA show in 2023. Its classic front-engine, rear-drive balance was perfect for some snow drifting, and the spot lamps were perhaps only outdone by the Ford Escort WRC car that was also in attendance.

The last car on the list for Catchpole was also the most extraordinary – Ryan Tuerck’s 1966 Toyota Stout pickup. This is no ordinary Stout, with a custom chassis, beautiful, exposed cantilever rear suspension, and a turbocharged four-cylinder under the bonnet that delivers 600bhp. All the considerable steering lock was certainly put to good use!

As well as driving cars, we also took time to interview some of the other entrants. We chatted with Tuerck, obviously, but also with Le Mans winners Stéphane Ortelli and Emanuele Pirro, 911 guru Leh Keen, and all-round legend Jeff Zwart. Jo Scarbo was also quizzed about his brand new creation, the SV Rover, which made its debut on the ice in Aspen. Paying homage to Land Rovers, but with a mid-mounted 1000bhp supercharged V8, 30 inches of Baja truck wheel travel, and movable bodywork, it is quite the piece of kit.

Strap in and hit the ice!

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