The Dutch skater Kjeld Nace was able to accelerate on the ice of a frozen lake in Lapland to 93 kilometers per hour. This became possible thanks to a specially designed aerodynamic shield that “pushed” the air in front of the athlete. Heavy construction pulled the crossover Seat Ateca, which was controlled by the Swedish racer Mikaela Alin-Kottulinski.
Even in the usual race, skaters reach very impressive speeds. According to Neis, who won two “gold” at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, in the fastest race in his career, he accelerated to 60 kilometers per hour.
At these speeds, the athlete spends most of his energy to overcome the force of air resistance. Professor Bert Blochen from the University of Eindhoven, who prepared the aerodynamic shield for the record, calculated that already at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour, the skater takes 90 percent of the effort.
During calculations in a computer complex of computational aerodynamics and natural experiments in a wind tunnel, Blocken designed a special bell with a flexible rubber skirt, closely adjacent to the ice. This design was attached to the all-wheel drive crossover Seat Ateca.
The actions of the skater and racer Mikaela Alin-Kottulinski at the wheel of the Seat coordinated coach Erben Vennemars, sitting with a walkie-talkie in the back of the crossover.
“It seemed to me that I was flying on ice,” Kjeld Neus shared his impressions after a record attempt, because it was one and a half times faster than my fastest race. And when in the end I left because of the shield, I was literally thrown back by the air! ”
By the way, similar boards are used to set records in other disciplines. For example, especially for the French cyclist Jean-Claude Rude, Porsche in the late 70’s produced a 935 coupe with a special hood in the rear and a skirt under the bumper. Ryude tried to overcome a mark on the bike 240 kilometers per hour, but at one hundred and seventy his tire burst. Fortunately, the rider managed to hold the bicycle.
The compact crossover Seat Ateca was introduced two years ago: it is technically the closest relative of the Volkswagen Tiguan. The Spanish crossover is equipped with engines from 1 to 2 liters capacity from 116 to 300 horsepower.