After a delay of nearly two years, Renée Brinkerhoff is ready for the final stage of her Project 356 World Rally Tour with her faithful 1956 Porsche 356 A. The amateur rally driver has already raced the classic sportscar on six continents, on every type of terrain – an extreme endeavour for any individual, let alone one driving in a classic 65-year-old racer. She is now looking to check off the final land mass by putting the Porsche to the ultimate test, traversing 356 miles – 587 kilometres – in Antarctica.
While we are extremely proud of completing each endurance rally we’ve entered, our true mission has been for our racing efforts to become a worldwide visual that supports our vocal pursuit to end child trafficking. We’ve had a goal to break barriers and set new records and we’re hopeful our Antarctic expedition will do just that.
The 356 travelled to Chile via ship from its workshop in United Kingdom and, then air-shipped to the Union Glacier base camp, in Antarctica. Brinkerhoff and the Valkyrie Racing team, if the weather cooperates, will begin their expedition on December 5 and it should be completed before the end of the year.
The naturally-aspirated flat six 356 to undergo a complete re-engineering for the treacherous terrain.
The ski we’ve created must do 40%-50% of the work, by compacting and prepping the snow for the track unit to follow over, with the underside blade guiding the direction. This ensures the tracks will not submarine under the light snow
An extra thought that Bradley had to consider was that the skis and tracks must be easily removable so that spiked ice tyres can be re-fitted with no wheel alignment changes necessary. A pneumatic inflatable jack will be used to make the change.
Joining Brinkerhoff in the 356A for the polar trek will be British explorer Jason de Carteret, who will act as navigator. De Carteret has led more than 50 expeditions, including to both the North and South Pole, and together with Bradley he has claimed two world records for the fastest overland journey to the South Pole travelling in the Thomson Reuters Polar Vehicle, which they designed.
The Project 356 World Rally Tour is both an expedition and a humanitarian effort, and the December 2021 challenge completes the ultimate endeavor by one woman, one car and one global mission to help end child trafficking. Through Valkyries Gives, the philanthropic arm of her racing team, Brinkerhoff has raised close to half a million dollars, with 100 per cent of the proceeds benefitting victims of trafficking around the world. By its conclusion, Brinkerhoff will have driven close to 32,000 kilometres over all seven continents, partaking in endurance rallies such as Peking-to-Paris, the East African Safari Classic Rally and La Carrera Panamericana.