White Turf Centennial with Formula One Power on Ice
Credit Suisse and BMW host a premiere in St. Moritz
Even the good weather made an appearance at the premiere hosted by Credit Suisse: Under sunny skies, BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld delighted a record crowd of some 15,000 spectators with his Formula One car on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. The occasion was the centennial of White Turf.
Guests attending the first Sunday of the international horse racing event saw something extraordinary today. On the 100th anniversary of this prestigious St. Moritz event, the BMW Sauber F1 Team added plenty more horsepower to what was already on the course. The whole thing was made possible by Credit Suisse, a principal sponsor and long-time partner of the event, together with the other main partner, BMW (Switzerland) AG.
It was 2 p.m. when Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld set off on the most unusual drive of his long career. "That was quite a unique experience - just seeing the magnificent mountain scenery surrounding the lake is really impressive. The frozen track was of course much rougher than what I'm used to in Formula One. Although it was by no means easy to apply force on such a surface, I enjoyed the drive immensely," he said.
His run on the frozen lake was made possible thanks to the efforts of an eight-man crew that had started preparations the Friday before the event, two truckloads of equipment, and special spiked tires from Bridgestone. They also had to warm up the engine every half hour to keep it from freezing.
Although Heidfeld didn't reach his normal Formula One top speeds on the racetrack, he entertained the audience with maneuvers that only a seasoned professional could manage on such a tricky surface. And the public responded with overwhelming applause. White Turf president Ruedi Fopp was among the enthusiasts: "Truly unique! We're really pleased Credit Suisse was able to help us celebrate our centennial by making such a special event possible. This was a great way to start off the 2007 White Turf!"
-credit: credit suisse