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Raikkonen fall fails to dampen Snow Mobile 2011 12 Dec 2011

Kimi Raikkonen at the Snow Mobile 2011 event, Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria, December 2011 Nick Heidfeld at the Snow Mobile 2011 event, Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria, December 2011 Danish singer Aura Dione at the Snow Mobile 2011 event, Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria, December 2011

There were no doubt a few anxious moments among senior management at Renault on Saturday as news came that their new star signing, Kimi Raikkonen, had fallen off a snow mobile.

Thankfully it was nothing more than sore wrist, and the Finn was able to watch on as colleagues from the F1 fraternity enjoyed the glamour of this weekend’s Snow Mobile 2011 competition at Saalbach Hinterglemm in Austria.

Among the racers more used to four wheels taking part were Christian Klien, Nick Heidfeld, Sakon Yamamoto, Niko Hulkenberg, Patrick Friesacher, Keke Rosberg, Timo Scheider, and from the world of two wheels, Heinz Kinigadner, Manfred Stohl, Kris Rosenberger and Mat Rebeaud.

The weekend began with Friday’s ‘Almdudler Night Rider’ official welcome party amid the rustic charm of the luxury Hotel Alpine Palace. Dress code for the male participants was traditional Austrian Lederhosen, and Dirndl for the females, making for a unique atmosphere as German rap star Sido provided the musical entertainment for the mountain bash.

On Saturday the snow-covered village houses and Christmas lights served as a picturesque backdrop to the roaring engines of the snow mobiles as the 0.85-kilometre course witnessed some spectacular race action. Training, qualification and first heats had to be successfully completed before the teams for the evening’s final race could be announced.

Slushy snow on the track and the narrow turns were the main challenges for the 24 teams. The daredevil riders provided an enthusiastic audience of 20,000 spectators with some heroic action and numerous - but harmless - crashes. It all came down to the ‘Battle of Champions’ - 14 teams, each made up of two professional riders and one celebrity, going head to head for the weekend’s ultimate prize.

After 49 laps and five spectacular rider changes the Ebner Event Logistics team emerged victorious, captain Manfred Ebner leading his men to glory ahead of 2008 and 2010 winners, Uniqa Fresacher Racing, with Team 3 powered by Sony Ericsson in third place. And a special performance from Danish singer Aura Dione provided the perfect ending to this special sporting event.

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