One of the core beliefs of Ice Driver and the whole reason why we started the company was quite simply, that Ice Driving is a superb venue for learning. Our ethos is that every driver should be able to take away a fresh set of driving skills that will provide long term benefit. Whether they are a World Champion of motorsport, a historic racing competitor or a corporate event guest. More than a decade later, that core belief remains the same.

A strong element of this year’s Ice Driver guests have been experienced track drivers who have been driving for quite some time. They own high quality cars capable of fast lap times and above all, they wish to take their driving skills to an ever higher level.

Chris Whittle is one such driver. With a long experience of track driving for enjoyment across Europe and a history of Porsche ownership over the years that reads like a buyers guide to rare Porsches, he has considerable experience of driving on a diverse range of iconic race tracks.

Chris spent two days with us this season, we caught up with him for a chat after he had returned home for his thoughts.

What are the main things you enjoyed and what did your learn that you will be able to take away and apply to your circuit driving this summer?

Learning comes from experience on the limit. You have to live the journey, feel and respond to your environment … and Ice Driving with a variety of tuition and cars enables you to do precisely that.
I had promised myself for four years that should do it, and now I have.
Will it make me a better driver ? Of course. Every car must slide at the limit. The confidence to feel the approach to that limit and respond rather than just react to it after the event, is the next stage in my magical journey.

Having returned home, I cam already think of moments in my track driving history where what I’ve learned in Norway would have been very useful.

What car you drive on track. Tell us more about what you have owned and your circuit driving experience?

It all started as a brief fling with a go-kart whilst in holiday in Douglas with my parents at the age of 12. This generated my first serious debt — it expired over three months at a rate of 2/6p per week (12.5p in new money), and resulted in my passion to own a Kart being over-ruled by my Mother’s preferential right to a very small car. I was heart-broken. Over succeeding years the sense of loss intensified and at a point where the children’s school fees abated, I acquired a secondhand Boxster S. That was the start of my journey.

Dial the clock forwards and the Boxster had become a Porsche 964RS RHD, then a LHD and then a Porsche 964 RS N-GT. It had blown it’s engine which had been re-built to a very high standard but the paint was jus starting to become generally porous and translucent. So at massively inflated cost (estimates never reduce) it was fettled and presented for it’s first track-day outing at the Oulton Park RS day around ten years ago. That was a baptism of fire and as I said afterwards, coming out of Shell Oils I may as well have parked up on the grass and just let everybody past !!

Over three years and 20,000 Km this car, together with coaching from a whole series of instructors on track days, taught me to drive.

(This car is the well known ex- Ulrich Richter Porsche 964 RS N-GT given to the works driver by the Porsche factory as a gift.}

Since then, I’ve been fortunate to own Porsche 993RS, Porsche 96GT3 MkI. MkII. RS. 911 GT3R. 997 GT3. A Euro Carrera MkI. 2.7 Carrera MFI. Porsche 968CS. 993 C2. 924 Carrera GTS. 911 2.4S and a Cayman R.

Love of my life at the moment is my modified Cayman GT4 — the car that Porsche worried might be too good to keep GT3 owners comfortable with their purchase, and with justification.

How many miles each year do you drive on track days, which circuits have you driven and what is it about driving on track that appeals?

Over the years I’ve added Rockingham, Spa, Knockhill, Anglesey, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Thruxton, Castle Comb, Cadwell Park, Zandvoort to the list of tracks. This year I’ll add Zolder and Blyton. On a track day I’ll generally do between 120 and 200 miles on track.

You’re a firm believer in driver coaching on track and have sought the input of many driver coaches, what was it that made you decide to come to Ice Driver?

I raced a Porsche Cayman by myself and ended the season at the middle of the field, but driving a Class1 car amongst the Class 1 and Class 2 cars.
It was a very steep learning curve but I quickly realized that the only place to learn was outside my comfort zone. Finding problems and dealing with them was where the adrenaline rush was. And dealing with them meant tuition. I’ve sat with Howard Hunt, the late Sean Edwards, Nick Tandy, Richard Attwood, Richard Ellis amongst many.

But like all good things, the racing had to come to an end partly because of cost, and partly because I preferred to spend my budget on building my own competence. Making me feel good from the inside out rather than from the outside in, if that makes sense.

Ice Driver was the next logical step.

What next this year ?
At least 10 track days are planned for this year, I like the idea of buddying up with some drivers who share my dream but are at the earlier stages of this journey and sharing stories and experience. And since it seems likely that Porsche will not build a GT4RS to rival the GT3RS … I am looking forward to further developing my car.
And then ?
Mr McKenna (and family) … will you invite me back for more learning ?