The last vehicle-supported project to reach Pole in 2010-11 was the Extreme World Races event between German and Austrian teams. Sponsored by Extreme World Races as a preliminary event to their more massive race planned for 2011-12, it featured two four-person teams from Germany and Austria. The German team was led by celebrity TV presenter Markus Lanz and triathlete/musician Joey Kelley, along with biochemist Claudia Beitsch and Air Force member Dennis Lenhart; the Austrians were led by Olympic ski gold medalist Hermann Maier and triathlete/radio personality Tom Walek, joined by Sabrina Grillitsch (the only woman in Austria's mountain infantry), and dogsled racer Alexander Serdjukov. Two of the four members of each team were selected from over 9000 applicants during a series of three training camps conducted by the Extreme World Races team.
Above, one view of the start (ORF). Below, a map of the event (AT).
The race started at about 0400 SP time on 20 December (left) (ORF), the temperature was about -13°F. The Austrian team took the lead, and arrived at the checkpoint on Christmas Eve. They celebrated by opening Christmas stockings, but they also were saddened by the fact that Alex Serdjukov had significant frostbite on both hands. After a medical examination by the race team, he was forced to withdraw from the remainder of the race. He would ride to Pole with the film crew to await the arrival of the rest of the team.
The German team arrived at the midway checkpoint about a day later, with all four members in good health ready to continue. Weather conditions were generally good for the entire period of the race, mostly sunny, although there was a period of dense cloud cover around Christmas Day. Temperatures continued to range between -5° and -20°F.
And then...at 0318 on 29 December:
The Austrian team, from left: Tom Walek, Sabrina Grillitsch, Hermann Maier...and Alex Serdjukow, who was driven to Pole to meet up with his team members (RS).
Two days later, at 0128 on the 31st...
The race and camera crews started showing up two days before the Austrian team arrived. They set up a large camp...many of the Polies ventured over there to meet and greet the race participants, the various film crews, the race organizers and the Arctic Trucks folks. And there was a significant gathering on New Years Eve.
Some of the competitors flew out on New Years Day, others rode out in the vehicles, which returned to Novo on 6 January.
The race was covered by German and Austrian television, which aired five telecasts of the race in February and March 2011. The coverage from Austrian TV network ORF (Österreichischen Rundfunk) is on YouTube in three four-part series (in German of course):
The two shots above of the race start marked ORF were grabbed from their video of the race start. Most of the Pole pictures marked RS were taken by Robert Schwarz and appear on his web site pages. The race operator Extreme World Races has rather limited online coverage, but this is their archive news site for the 2010-11 event. The folks at Arctic Trucks (AT) have some excellent coverage of their support operations, including this blog of their race activities. They also have a photo page. And, important to engineers like myself, this is the link to the brochure describing their detailed vehicle specifications...dimensions... mileage...as well as the history of expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic supported by Arctic Trucks.