Classic car racing on the world’s most iconic frozen lake

Classic car racing on the world’s most iconic frozen lake

Switzerland’s International Pageant of Elegance (ICE) is back this month at Lake St. Moritz. This event combines the thrills of motorsports with luxurious après-ski festivities, making it a favorite among international stagers visiting from around the world.

The fascination with ice racing began 37 years ago, when a group of British athletes took their vintage Bentleys to St. Moritz to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cresta Run. ICE founder Marco Makaus was inspired after seeing Bentleys gliding across the frozen lake of St. Moritz. Finally, in 2019, his dream came true when the first ICE review was held.

ICE St. Moritz was officially launched in 2022 and gathered more than 50 of the best automobiles, competing in five classes and racing around the frozen lake. Upscale crowds sipped champagne while a piano bar and skating servers provided entertainment. True auto enthusiasts would mingle with fashionistas committed to making a dramatic statement off the ice at this ultra-exclusive social event of the season.

Now, every year, in the Engadine, Lake St. Moritz transforms into the most spectacular backdrop of motor racing. The grand display of classic and prestigious cars is what makes the event so exciting. Main sponsor Richard Mille felt that the union of the two brands would create a place of excellence built on the typical interior nostalgia of a high-style lifestyle.

I spoke with the founder of ICE Marco Macau, who says creating the classic event is one of the highlights of his career. “For years I have enjoyed the extraordinary atmosphere of the horse races held on the frozen lake of St. Moritz and their unique style where luxury is never separated from the sporting side of things. When you walk -or drive!- from terra firma to the surface of the lake, you always have a little tremor: after all, you are walking on water, an activity whose precedents create very high expectations.”

Creating a world-class event like ICE from a pre-2019 COVID-19 launch, “We could feel the buzz that erupted during the first day of the 2019 test event,” he says. “This was due to live coverage through social media. Fortunately, I had a team of younger staff and they did a fantastic job. Their knowledge and creativity helped us a lot even in the Covid years, when we couldn’t organize the event, but still kept the attention of our followers with great and unusual photos.”

All annual events are different, as the venue itself changes every year. “It gives us very specific challenges related to temperature, ice thickness, environmental safety, and so on,” says Makaus. “Therefore, every year we organize a new show. I doubt there is another place in the world with the same mix of characteristics as St. Moritz, so I don’t think we’ll ever export the recipe.”

Joining the jury this year, helping to select the best of the best, are Marco Makaus, The creator and patron of The ICE St. Moritz, Richard suitable (One of the world’s leading experts on classic cars), Massimo Delbo (Classic Car Historian), Mathias Doutreleau (Founder and former director of The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, the main event of Monterey Car Week), Vanessa Marcais (Creator of GT & Sports Car Cup), Norman Foster (Internationally renowned British architect and designer), Christian Jott Jenny (Mayor of St. Moritz), Michele Lupi (journalist and visionary of Tod’s Men’s Collection), Philip Rathgen (CEO of Classic Driver), Augustin Sabatié-Garat (Director at Sotheby’s), and Rolf Sachs (Artist, designer and philanthropist),

This year, the committee added a fifth category further enhance certain cars with a record or history of particular importance in racing.” The choices include Barchettas on the Lake, Open Wheels, Concept Cars & One-Offs, and Icons on Wheelswith new additions Racing legends.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *