We’re still a couple of months away from the start of the Antarctic expedition season—which may or may not take place this year—but already there are a few interesting stories starting to emerge. Take for example Renée Brinkerhoff, who has no plans to ski to the South Pole or attempt to climb Mt. Vinson. Instead, she’s preparing for an adventure of a completely different kind, which includes bringing her vintage Porsche 356 to the frozen continent to go on one crazy road trip.
The 64-year old Brinkerhoff took up rally car racing at the age 56 and has spent the last 8 years pursuing her passion. Over that time, she’s managed to take part in races on six continents, but naturally has never considered driving in Antarctica. But a few years back she met an FBI agent who opened her eyes to the awful world of human trafficking, particularly involving young kids. After that, Renée wanted to do something to help, so she began raising awareness and funds for the cause while driving in events all over the world. Now, her goal is to drive her Porsche in Antarctica to help gain more publicity and support.
As we speak, Brinkerhoff’s Porsche is being retrofitted for the Antarctic adventure. That includes replacing the wheels with skis and tank-like treads, adding adding solar panels, and equipping it with other safety gear. Those updates are expected to be complete in October, at which time the car will be shipped to Punta Arenas, Chile to await its owner. Then, in early January Renée is expected to be reunited with her rally car and flown to Union Glacier where she has plotted out a 356 mile (572 km) course.
To date, Brinkerhoff has raised more than $200,000 for charity through her racing, but her goal is to reach the $1 million mark. The hope is that her Antarctic excursion will be a high profile experience that will help her reach that goal. We’ll have to wait until 2021 to find out of she is successful.
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