Adventurer pushes Top Gear for South Pole race

ANDREW MACLEAN
Last updated 12:50 19/06/2014
Icelandic adventurer Emil Grimsson drove his Toyota to the South Pole in under 20 hours.

POLE POSITION: Icelandic adventurer Emil Grimsson drove his Toyota to the South Pole in under 20 hours.

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An Icelandic adventurer who accidentally set a record for the fastest run to the South Pole is pushing to get the Top Gear team there for a second run.

Emil Grimsson, founder of Arctic Trucks - the company that built the Toyota Hilux for Top Gear - drove from the Ross Ice Hill to the South Pole in under 20 hours earlier this year.

Grimsson did not have the record verified as it wasn't his primary focus while supporting 28-year-old American adventurer Helen Skelton in her bid to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole in January.

Instead, he just wanted to get home quickly after Skelton had achieved her goal.

"We did it in 20 hours on the way there, but we did it even faster on the way back – around nineteen and a half hours even though we stopped for about five hours," Grimsson told Fairfax Media.

"We did it accidentally. It's not an official record, but it is for sure the fastest anyone has ever gotten to the South Pole."

Grimsson, who has driven more than 200,000kms on the Antarctic plateau, admitted that Top Gear producers have approached him about replicating the Arctic expedition by driving from one end of Greenland to the other.

While he has refused that request, he does want to take the top-rating British TV show to Antarctica for a second polar run.

"The problem is it takes a lot of preparation and travel time to get there and the season is only open between November and January each year," Grimsson said.

"And they have a very busy schedule at that time. I don't know if it will happen."

What is certain is that Grimsson is already working on another attempt with Dutch adventurer Manon Ossevert who plans to drive a tractor across Antarctica next year.

The self-confessed story teller that goes by the name Tractor Girl has already driven her farm hack from The Netherlands all the way to Cape Town in South Africa and has received backing from iconic brand Massey Ferguson to continue her journey to the South Pole.

Grimsson's Arctic Trucks is currently modifying the 5600 Series tractor at his Reykjavik base after a series of winter training tests in Iceland earlier this year.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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