Renée Brinkerhoff is planning another Antarctic adventure
Renée Brinkerhoff may have conquered seven continents in her 1956 Porsche 356A, but she still has unfinished business in the Antarctic.
Officially Brinkerhoff’s 356-mile drive across the frozen wastes in December 2021 marked the end of her Project 356 World Rally, which had seen her race her classic Porsche on La Carrera Panamericana in Mexico, Targa Tasmania, Caminos del Inca, the East African Safari Classic, and the Peking-to-Paris marathon.
The 66-year-old Colorado native took to the road with the goal of raising $1 million for the fight against prevent human trafficking , and has to date brought in more than $800,000 for the cause through her Valkyrie Racing exploits and Valkyrie Gives nonprofit.
She’s not done yet, though. While others her age might be contemplating a quiet retirement, Brinkerhoff wants to go back to the southernmost point on the planet, to set records and reach her fundraising goal.
Talking to Hagerty at The ICE (International Concours of Elegance) in St Moritz, Switzerland, where she was invited to demonstrate the ice-cool abilities of her ski- and cat-track-equipped Porsche, Brinkerhoff says that she plans to set a new record for driving to the South Pole.
British engineer Kieron Bradley, who devised the polar conversion kit for Brinkerhoff’s Porsche, formerly held the record for the grueling journey, having driven the 600 miles from Union Glacier base camp to the South Pole in one day, 15 hours, and 54 minutes in 2012.
“They found a new route last year,” Brinkerhoff says. “It would still be treacherous, but it wouldn’t be as treacherous.”
The inspirational racer says that she would like to make her next Antarctic expedition more environmentally friendly and is considering adding solar electric power. “It would be great to see what we can do with the newest technology.”
Going back to Antarctica would also allow Brinkerhoff to claim another record, which she had hoped to bag in 2021. “We purposely designed the car so that we could quickly take everything off, put some studded snow tires on and see how fast we could go. We had hoped to to create a land speed record on the ice runway, but the weather didn’t allow it. We got stuck for five days.”
Brinkerhoff says the project is still two years away, and in the meantime she is eager to get the Porsche back into competition. “There’s nothing more thrilling for me than feeling this car and its speed and being competitive.”
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