Icelandic company Arctic Trucks announced today that a new world record of the fastest overland journey to the South Pole has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records.
In December 2010 two Arctic Trucks vehicles crossed 2308km of the Antarctica High Plateau from Novolazarevskaya station (Novo) to the South Pole in 108 hours (4.5 days). The purpose-built AT Expedition vehicles, based around a Toyota Hilux platform, traveled at an average speed to South Pole of 21.4km/h and average fuel efficiency of 2.2km/per liter, with only a single refueling stop on the way.
An unofficial improvement on the record itself was achieved for the return journey, which was faster still at only 3.5 days, averaging 27.5km/h. No comparable speed or fuel efficiency has ever been recorded for high plateau expeditions in Antarctica. Arctic Trucks built vehicles have now clocked over eighty thousand kilometers on the plateau, proving new benchmarks for speed, range, reliability and fuel efficiency for overland travel in this area.
"This route to the South Pole is extremely challenging. Our vehicles are operating at altitudes up to almost 3500m, in ultra-low temperatures and in very difficult snow conditions. The vast distance is a challenge in itself, with up to 1500km between fuel depots. We are delighted to celebrate this new world record with the team, which also marks a growing recognition of the power of Arctic Trucks solutions for expedition use," commented Emil Grímsson, Executive Chairman of Arctic Trucks.
"There is a fast growing interest from customers who are looking to supplement slower, less fuel-efficient tracked vehicles with faster, lighter and cleaner vehicles. We have great respect for the fragility of Antarctica and our vehicles have opened up new possibilities for scientific research programs to operate more efficiently in this environment."
The two Arctic Trucks vehicles used for this round trip were both Arctic Trucks Expedition AT44 models. Arctic Trucks designs and builds these vehicles based around the Toyota Hilux 3.0 liter turbo diesel.
The expedition was organized by the Kazakhstan National Geographic Society (KNGS) and The Antarctica Company (TAC). The core expedition team consisted of Konstantin Orlov and Stanislav Makarenko from KNGS, Andrey Myller from TAC and Hlynur Sigurðsson from Arctic Trucks.
Four further expeditions to the South Pole using Arctic Trucks vehicles are planned for the season of 2011, three starting from Novo and one from Patriot Hills.
Source: ArcticTrucks and Guiness World Records.