Against a sea of ice, a blur of red and blue flashes across the screen. It’s Aldo Pistono and Andrea Caspani in a 1998 Opel Astra 4WD Silhouette, and it’s going remarkably sideways. We like.
Video: You’ve never seen an Opel Astra drift like this
Filmed during the second round of the 2020 Ice Challenge Championship in Livigno, Italy, this clip shows everything that was great about ice rallying in the ’90s.
The car in question was built in 1998 by Snobeck Racing, for French driver Dany Snobeck to contest in the Trophée Andros, France’s national ice racing championship. In a similar vehicle, Yvan Muller achieved three consecutive championship wins in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
While from the outside it looks like any Astra of its age, its ‘Silhouette’ status denotes an entirely revised interior, comprising a tubular chassis and a single carbon-fibre piece for the bottom part of the cockpit. In order to achieve a low centre of gravity, the modified Opel Ecotec V6 engine is placed far back in the chassis – almost inside the cockpit. Impressively, the racer weighs just 950 kg, which explains its incredible on-ice performance.
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