Kitzbühel: Audi quattro #SuperQ
Four skiing aces and four other professional sportsmen accepted the challenge thrown down by two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström to test his Audi S1 EKS RX quattro from the FIA World Rallycross Championship, which delivers around 580 hp, in the run-up to the Hahnenkamm ski races. Two 367-hp Audi RS 3 Sportback cars were also on hand for participants to put in fast laps on a course of snow and ice specially prepared by Audi. Two athletes each formed a team.
Instructed by the two Swedish motor racing pros Mattias Ekström and Edward Sandström, the sports stars battled each other and impressed initiator Ekström as well: “I was surprised how quickly the guys learned and just how well they could drive. However, sitting alongside them as a co-passenger really set my pulse racing.
In the finale of the Audi quattro #SuperQ, Henrik Kristoffersen and Andrea Dovizioso just beat slalom star Felix Neureuther (Germany) and Enduro rider Tadeusz Błażusiak (Poland) by the smallest of margins. In the duel of the ski stars, Neureuther, following an error by Kristoffersen, was just in front at the last gate, while Dovizisoso edged into the lead among the motor racing drivers. In the deciding shoot-out, the skiers then sat in the co-passenger seat with the racing drivers at the wheel. “That was scary”, said Kristoffersen. “Andrea still had his foot down when I’d long since have been braking. All in all it was a great, fun-packed day. Driving such a car was an exhilarating experience. And it’s my first victory in Kitzbühel – maybe I’ll be able to repeat it in the slalom on Sunday.”
Felix Neureuther was equally enthusiastic, having beaten his Austrian arch rival Marcel Hirscher in the semi-final. “I was lucky enough to try out the S1 here last year”, the German said. “But being able to drive these kinds of cars against each other is awesome – especially on a course where you can go flat-out. It was an incredible experience for which I’m really grateful to Mattias (Ekström) and Audi. I hope there’ll be a SuperQ every year from now on!”
For the two ski stars Marcel Hirscher (Austria) and Ted Ligety (USA), freestyler Jon Olsson (Sweden) and street trial pro Danny MacAskill (UK) their #SuperQ came to an end in the semi-final. Nonetheless they were all equally enthusiastic about the new discipline. “I could do that every day”, said Jon Olsson.