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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Subaru Winter Experience?

Subaru Winter Experience is a specialty winter driving school located on Dollar Lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Participants are able to drive a number of brand new Subaru vehicles fitted with special made studded tires from Sweden on the ice with professional coaching.


Where is it based?

Subaru Winter Experience is based at the Chanticleer Inn in Eagle River, which is adjacent to Dollar Lake. The Chanticleer Inn is the home for all Subaru Winter Experience-based activities, from morning registration to after drive, and including overnight lodging options in the inn and its villas.


Who runs it?

It’s a joint venture in between DirtFish Rally School and Subaru Rally Team USA driver Patrik Sandell is the creator of Subaru Winter Experience. Patrik began his driving career on the ice of his native Sweden, won the 2006 Junior World Rally Championship, and has since become one of the world’s top rallycross drivers.


Subaru Winter Experience courses are primarily taught by professional instructors from DirtFish Rally School, the United States’ premier rally driving school. From its Washington base, DirtFish has provided instruction and support to many of the rally world’s top stars, and also runs a highly successful rally and rallycross racing program.


When is it available?

The third annual Subaru Winter Experience takes place from February 11 to March 8, 2020. If this dates will not fit your schedule this year we recommend that you join DirtFish Rally School as they are open all year around.


What do I need to be able to participate?

Participants of Subaru Winter Experience must be at least 21 years old at the time of their course and possess a valid driver’s license.


What kinds of vehicles will I be driving?

A mixture of 2020 Subaru BRZs, WRXs, and WRX STIs will be available for all participants to enjoy. The BRZs are rear-wheel drive vehicles, while the WRXs and WRX STIs are all-wheel drive. There will be a mixture of automatic and manual transmission vehicles on site, and everyone will have a chance to drive everything. To drive properly on the ice, each vehicle is fitted with specially studded tires from Sweden.


What kinds of courses are offered?

Subaru Winter Experience offers one-day course two-day program and a more in-depth two day advance and three day advance courses. The single-day experience teaches participants the basics of ice driving, while the multi-day course adds more complex driving techniques and traditional rallying elements like pace notes. All courses include basic vehicle safety training, and conclude with joyrides around Dollar Lake with the instructors and professional drivers.

Detailed schedules for all courses are outlined in the “Driving Program” section of the Subaru Winter Experience website.


How much will I get to drive?

As much as possible! Classroom time is kept to a minimum in order to give participants as many opportunities to learn techniques behind the wheel as we can. The best way to learn ice driving is by driving on the ice!


Can I sign up for one-on-one training?

Absolutely! Please contact us directly if you would like to sign up for one-on-one coaching. Our experienced professionals are happy to design a custom program that caters to your particular skill set and level of driving experience.

How much does it cost?

Costs for all of our courses, as well as one-on-one training, are outlined in the “Driving Program” section of the Subaru Winter Experience website.


What else is included with the course?

Lunch is provided with your booking fee. There will be multiple coffee breaks during the day as well and special gifts. Breakfast, dinner, and overnight lodging are not included in the cost of Subaru Winter Experience.


Where can I sign up?

Please visit the “Booking” section of the Subaru Winter Experience website to be redirected to the proper booking pages for each available course. Booking for Subaru Winter Experience is handled through DirtFish Rally School.


What if I need to modify or cancel my reservation?

Booking for Subaru Winter Experience is subject to DirtFish Rally School rescheduling and cancellation policies. Please refer to either the Subaru Winter Experience or DirtFish Rally School websites for detailed information on all possible scenarios.


What if I would like to book for a large group of people?

Please reach out to us via the “Contact” section of the Subaru Winter Experience website.


What should I bring with me?

First and most importantly, bring a willingness to learn and have fun! Dress warmly—we will be out on the ice, you know. :) If you’d like to film your experience on the ice, we would recommend bringing your own cameras, mounts, and memory cards.


Can I expect to see any celebrities at Subaru Winter Experience?

You never know who might show up! Last year, Patrik’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammates Travis Pastrana, David Higgins, and Chris Atkinson all made appearances. So did Nitro Circus stars Jolene Van Vugt, Blake “Bilko” Williams, and Street Bike Tommy. Even legendary snowmobile daredevil Larry Enticer was on hand!


While we can’t guarantee that any of your favorite personalities will be on hand during your course, with our talented instructors, know that you’ll be surrounded by greatness no matter when you show up.


What if I would like to extend my stay in Eagle River?

Eagle River is known as the “Snowmobiling Capital of the World,” and offers many exciting outdoor winter activities. We are happy to work with you if you’d like to extend your stay in Eagle River at the Chanticleer Inn.


Who should I reach out to if I have more questions?

Please visit the “Contact” section of the Subaru Winter Experience website for a general question form, as well as the appropriate contacts for any booking inquiries or media information requests.

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