Snow or Pavement, Stevenson Motorsports Driver Robin Liddell Driven to Compete
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It isn’t unheard of for a race car driver to take part in sports such as cycling or running to keep fit in between races; but Robin Liddell, driver of the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, has taken his pre-Rolex 24 training to a whole new level with competitive Nordic skiing. 

With a two week break between the Roar (test) and the Rolex 24, Liddell made the trek back to Gudbrandsdalen, Norway to begin his training for the rigorous Vasaloppet, a historic event which began back in 1922. The Vasaloppet is a 90 km (55.92 mi) Nordic skiing marathon which stretches from eastern Sälen (renowned ski resort in Sweden) to western Mora, Sweden.

How exactly does one get into competitive Nordic skiing?

Liddell’s stepfather, Tony Turnbull, first introduced him to the sport while serving in the Royal Marines, which required an abundant amount of time on skis and resulted in a BASI ski instructor qualification. Ever since, skiing has been a bonding experience for both Robin and Tony and it ultimately turned into a family business.

Following his service in the Royal Marines, Tony taught cross country skiing and biathlons before opening his own cross country skiing company called Nordic Challenge, providing lessons to teach his craft. Robin is a valuable asset to his stepfather’s budding company, supplying his knowledge and experience as a ski instructor during his time away from the track.

Nordic Challenge welcomes every skill level - from beginners to experts - to learn how to ski, skate and telemark in the beautiful mountains of Norway including locations such as Lillhammer and Gålå.

“Most of my training outside of my regular race driver fitness involves instructing for our company Nordic Challenge where I work as an instructor,” said Liddell. "This gives me time on skis in the ideal environment in the Gudbrandsdalen which is located in the Oppland region of Norway."

Of course, what would be an extracurricular activity be without a tie to motorsport? Liddell was first approached by a driver fitness coach overseas with a request to start working with up and coming drivers on their fitness regime during the off-season. This has turned into a unique training service for Liddell as he trains various drivers in Europe.

Liddell’s most recent client is European Formula 3 superstar, George Russell.

“Last year we had amongst others George Russell who finished third in the European F3 championship and has just signed for World Champion Mercedes as part of their young driver development program,” added Liddell. “We are looking to expand on this for 2017.”

When asked what the benefits of cross-country skiing are when it comes to his race craft, Liddell quickly points to a number of advantages it provides. 

“Certainly, from my perspective I can testify to the fact that as a professional race driver it is hard to beat cross country skiing in terms of all around endurance fitness, balance, posture and coordination, all of which are key when it comes to driving a race car,” said Liddell.

Robin will spend the weeks leading up to the Rolex 24 in Norway continuing his rigorous training schedule in preparation for not only the 24-hour Rolex endurance event but also for the Vasaloppet, which takes place on March 5th.

Liddell’s intense training has translated into some impressive results throughout his professional racing career. With 29 wins and 65 podiums in the top-tier of IMSA competition, the 2004 Rolex 24 Race Winner and 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Champion will look to add to that list of accomplishments as the 2017 race season opens with the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Saturday, January 28 (LIVE coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on FOX and FOX Sports GO).

For more information about Robin’s Nordic Challenge, please visit www.nordicchallenge.com.

Follow Robin on Twitter and Facebook!

Twitter: @Robinliddell

Facebook: @RobinLiddell

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