Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2019

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When Colorado-based philanthropist and mother-of-four Renee Brinkerho decided to race in the legendary and highly dangerous La Carrera Panamericana rally in 2013 at the age of 57 – not only was she a rookie on a race track, but she had yet to ever experience a road race – let alone a 2,000-mile racing challenge. As the founder of Valkyrie Racing, Brinkerho has exceeded her dreams and all expectations by earning class victories in the famed Mexican race four years in a row and made history as the 'only woman to ‡nish the race' each year she has partaken. With a self-imposed challenge to complete six races across seven continents, at press time, Brinkerho was embarking on her next challenge along that path: the month-long Peking to Paris rally. She hopes to continue her winning ways while extending her charitable mission on a global level through her dedication to ‡ght child tra‹cking, a cause she has already championed in Mexico, Australia, and Peru. Brinkerhoff made her driving debut in Mexico behind the wheel of a 1956 Porsche 356A, navigating treacherous mountain roads that claimed several crews on day one. Her class made her the only female driver to accomplish this feat. Further success in subsequent years encouraged her to look at challenges further a‡eld, and a plan was hatched to race on every continent: Project 356 World Rally Tour. To help achieve her goal, Brinkerho partnered with leading specialists in rally car competition, including famed rallyist and Porsche restoration master Richard Tuthill -- and she soon began racing the car all over the world. –e story captured unexpected media attention, which the savvy sixty-something soon realized could be used to draw attention to worthy causes in the areas she intended to race. A philanthropic wing – 'Valkyrie Gives' - was formed to assist in directing ‡nancial support and donations to the charities closest to Brinkerho's heart: countering child exploitation and human tra‹cking in poorer parts of the world. "I had so much spare energy and personal time when my children left home," said Brinkerho. "I initially ‡lled this with rallying – an incredibly exciting passion which requires immense Written by Andre James / Photos courtesy of Pininfarina SpA R ENEE BR INKER HOFF RALLIES FROM PEKING TO PAR IS One woman's determination pushes new boundaries in automotive racing and social issues Written by Deb Pollack / Photos courtesy of Valkyrie Racing 40

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