Some people have a knack for seeking out and achieving the extraordinary. They go beyond what is expected, offering the rest of us the thrills and chills of watching their accomplishments. Renee Brinkerhoff is one of those people.
She is preparing to get behind the wheel of a specially modified classic
luxury car, a 1956 Porsche 356, for the ultimate ride.
It has taken her almost two years and an amazing record of worldwide racing to get her to this final stage of the Project 356 World Rally. It promises to be a challenging event since it takes place on the ice-covered continent of Antarctica.
A unique twist on
Porsche racing, it’s a spectacle you won't want to miss.
Renee Brinkerhoff isn't your typical race car driver, but she is a force to be reckoned with in her 1956 Porsche 356
Renee Brinkerhoff is a testament to the fact that anyone can and should pursue their dreams. According to
DriveTribe, Brinkerhoff’s was to drive a race car, and she did just that.
The mom-of-four based in Colorado founded her own racing team, Valkyrie Racing, a couple of years after she won her class at La Carrera Panamericana, an intense road rally in Mexico, at the age of 57.
The win also, remarkably, happened to be the first-ever by a woman in her class.
Having raced the event several times before her first win, she went on to compete and win her class at La Carrera Panamericana again in 2017, but not before a frightening 2015 accident involving a guardrail at the same event that she was lucky to walk away from.
This turned out to be the beginning of so much more. In their time away from the racing scene, post-accident, Brinkerhoff and her team saw an opportunity to make a difference and formed Valkyrie Gives, which donates proceeds from her Project 356 World Rally Tour to worthy causes benefitting women and children in need.
Porsche Newsroomnoted that the project is especially focused on combating child trafficking. So far, they’ve raised almost $500,000.
What is the Project 356 World Rally Tour all about?
The Project 356 World Rally Tour combines the excitement of expedition racing with humanitarian causes, making it a win/win all the way around.
The endurance rallies see Brinkerhoff traverse difficult terrain in grueling, high-speed overland journeys with her
beloved vintage Porsche356.
Thus far, she’s raced across six continents, according to the Porsche Newsroom, completing events like the Peking-to-Paris rally and the East African Safari Classic, with her sights now set on a seventh: Antarctica.
With the completion of the final race, nearly 32,000 kilometers (almost 20,000 miles) will have been clocked on the Porsche’s odometer.
Brinkerhoff is well-equipped for her adventure, having learned how to drive race cars as a participant in the Porsche Track Experience taught by master endurance racer, Hurley Haywood.
Needless to say, the classes have served her well, making her more than prepared for the ultimate Antarctica challenge scheduled for early December.
The iconic Porsche 356 is up to the cold-weather task
The vintage 1956 Porsche 356 is making its way to the Union Glacier in Antarctica for a 356-mile race in which Brinkerhoff hopes to set a land speed record. But first, the Porsche underwent a complete revamping for the icy conditions.
According to the Porsche Newsroom, Extreme explorer and the Antarctica expedition’s Senior Chassis Design Engineer, Kieron Bradley, added skis to the front of the Porsche 356 and refitted its rear tires with snow tracks.
A specialized suspension system and brace were also included, among other winter-optimized additions.
Brinkerhoff is working with experienced British explorer and extreme-weather racing world record breaker Jason de Carteret as a navigator to prepare for what is sure to be a wild ride.
As noted by Porsche Newsroom, the performance of Brinkerhoff’s Porsche in Antarctica’s harsh conditions remains largely untested, thanks to the unique terrain of the region.
Yet, Brinkerhoff remains undeterred. She is confident the car's reimagined design will rise to the occasion as she braves rugged territory in the icy continent—all for a worthy cause.