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Today 120 drivers will push their machines to the limit on Lake Kallsjön in west-central Sweden during the coldest month of the year. The racing MX-5s have been modified to ensure safety and lots of fun, in a way that has never been attempted before on this scale. Here are some pictures of yesterdays training and qualifying.

Mazda's 2011 Ice Race is held near Åre on Lake Kallsjön surrounded by a magnificent snowy mountain landscape, including the 1,420 m high Mount Åreskutan to the south. Although it gets very cold here (currently -28°C), the name Kallsjön does not stem from the Swedish word for "cold" (kall), but rather from Kalln, which is Jämtland dialect for "guy". Lake Kallsjön itself is 386 m above sea level, 35 to 40 km wide (with a surface area of 156 km2) and 134 m deep, making it one of Sweden's deepest. It has been used to produce electricity since the 1940s and is drained at its southernmost end by the Järpeströmmen River.

The main villages bordering Lake Kallsjön are Kall, Kallsedet and Huså, and in summer they are very popular with fishermen looking to catch char, trout, whitefish or grayling. In winter - when the ice reaches a thickness of at least 30 cm or more - Lake Kallsjön is the ideal location to race the amazing MX-5 Roadster in a place you never thought possible.
The Race Track

The Lake Kallsjön circuit has the dimensions of a full-size race track with an overall length of 4.5 km and a width of 12 - 15 m (10 m at the start-finish straight). It's a demanding track that will challenge the drivers with sharp curves on a natural ice surface - perfect for drifting.
The lack of long straights and the abundance of turns will force drivers to control their speed while simultaneously driving competitively.

With its unique location and amazing surroundings, the Lake Kallsjön ice race track is not only the ultimate test for the MX-5s and their drivers. It's also a once-in-a-lifetime experience for every participant at an event that perfectly embodies the racing heritage of the MX-5 and Mazda's Zoom-Zoom spirit.

Kudos to Mazda Netherlands for the images!

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