The two-and-a-half-year journey for Renee Brinkerhoff to race this beautiful 356 on all seven continents is already underway. Yes, you read that right, all seven. She's even taking this Porsche to Antarctica to race. Through January of 2020, Brinkerhoff and her Valkyrie Racing team will be working to get this 1956 Porsche 356A ready for six races that run across seven continents. Brinkerhoff has already completed La Carrera Panamericana - where she won her class - in October of 2017, which takes care of North America. Across 2018 she plans to run the car in the Targa Tasmania in April and Grand Prix South America in October. 2019 holds the grueling month-long Peking To Paris rally in June, and the equally difficult East African Safari Classic Rally near the close of the year (Africa, Europe, and Asia; check, check, and check).
That just leaves Antarctica as an unchecked box, saving the most epic trek for last, as it were. For 2020, the team plans to give the Porsche a complete metamorphosis. Like Gregor Samsa, this car will wake up one day with a completely different set of skills. As the team says, "Our challenge will be to make a 60-year-old car into a state of the art, technologically advanced racing machine capable of racing in the most severe weather conditions for a machine of any kind." It sure sounds interesting to us.
The 356 itself is quite an awesome piece of kit. It's fitted with a specially-built 2-liter to pump up the horsepower numbers, combined with a five-speed manual gearbox -with limited slip, natch - and further equipped with 911 rear suspension bits, upgraded to four-wheel disc brakes, and completely decked out with all the standard safety bits needed for various rallying series around the world.
This Porsche has been run in La Carrera Panamericana since 2013, and Brinkerhoff has been reasonably successful in the Mexican road rally, winning her class a few times. In 2015 the team suffered a bit of a setback when they crashed. The 356 was out for the remainder of the race, but since then it's been repaired and made even better. That, in a way, was the inspiration for the world rally tour project, as Renee figured she'd start the tour by running La Carrera again. 2017's class victory sets the stage for a really interesting two years ahead. Stay up to date with the project's progression here on FlatSixes.
The Feat: 6 Races / 7 Continents
- LA CARRERA PANAMERICANA: October 13 – 19, 2017
- TARGA TASMANIA: April 16 – 21, 2018
- GRAND PRIX SOUTH AMERICA: October 18– November 17, 2018
- PEKING TO PARIS: June 2– July 7, 2019
- EAST AFRICAN SAFARI CLASSIC: Nov/Dec 2019 (Dates TBA)
- ANTARCTICA ICE 356: January 2020 (Dates TBA)