GridLife IceBattle 2018


The mighty little turbo D16 sounded pretty gnarly through the hood exit exhaust dump.

A turbocharged 300 horsepower Civic Del Sol might not be your first weapon of choice, but Coty Van Lannen from VL Performance piloted it to the fastest FWD car on studs, and 8th overall out of 67 entrants! The turbo D16 sounded pretty gnarly through the hood exit exhaust dump.


The nimble, lightweight, and torquey GC8 Impreza is usually the winner of the “AWD snow tire” class, and was again this time by an Impreza L (not pictured).

Speeds are pretty similar to your average autocross event. I think I managed to tap the top of second gear only once, and that was probably due to wheel spin rather than actual vehicle speed. The fast cars on studs may be getting into third gear if there are long sections, but most people are fine leaving it in second. I’ve been in a few studded cars before, and it is a 100% different experience than standard snow tires, it’s almost unsettling on an emotional level the kind of grip these cars have on a surface that has comparatively zero traction for the rest of us.


Keeping your nose pointed where you want it to can be a real challenge when you’re fighting for every bit of traction that you can find. You are constantly in some form of a slide, and with minimal bite from your tires it can feel like your steering wheel is only whispering suggestions about turning. This is a great way to practice managing weight transfer to get the car to rotate using careful modulation of the throttle and brakes.


I love seeing this BRZ by Thompson Racing Fabrication out at events. It’s nice to see some diversity, especially the RWD variety, at rally events which are inevitably dominated by Imprezas.

Having just been in Michigan the weekend before while volunteering for Rally America’s Sno*Drift rally event, it was a nice surprise to see so many stage rally cars out hooning at IceBattle.


An NA Miata locks up the front brakes while racing through the back slalom.

The kind folks over at GridLife have a whole host of events planned for this year again, from their sensory overloading festivals at Gingerman and Road Atlanta, to handful of time attack Track Battle events throughout the Midwest. I’ve attended a few of their events over the past couple of years, and it always a ton of fun. Be sure to check out their website for specific dates and locations!




Central Wisconsin Sports Car Club

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