If you followed the Winter Olympics this year, the name Kjeld Nuis may be familiar to you, as he won a pair of Olympic gold medals at the Korean games. During the Pyeongchang games, Nuis skated as fast as 60 KPH, which was a new record for competition speed. Wanting to up the stakes, Kjeld teamed up with Red Bull and Seat cars to set a world speed record on skates.
Putting together a full team of drivers, aerodynamicists, skaters, and staff, Red Bull set everything in motion to get this record. The Seat Ateca SUV was chosen for its ability to fit a full bevvy of monitors in the car with the driver, as well as provide enough power to tow a giant aero-shield behind it at speed. That aeroshield was wind-tunnel developed to provide minimal wind resistance for the skater behind, eliminating that variable from the equation.
In the video below, you can see all of the behind-the-scenes work that went into and led up to the record breaking run. A test skater, Erben Wennemars, filled in for Kjeld while he was training for the Olympics, running test passes on roller skates at airstrips to test for aerodynamic issues. Once that was set up, proper ice testing was completed as well, smoothing out a large section of very thick natural lake ice in Lapland.
The Seat was driven by Swedish touring car driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, who had the task of keeping the whole train moving in a straight line, and accelerate at a very specific rate. The whole thing must have been tense in the moment.