July 2, 2011/July 13, 2011

From Argentina to Alaska

11 days and 17 hours · 23.000 km · 14 countries
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The longest road of the world, the Panamericana, is legendary and was celebrated for its 75-year existence in 2011. Between July 2 and July 13, Rainer Zietlow, Marius Biela, photographer and cameraman, and Carlos Fernandez, mechanic, travelled the road of 23.000 km from Tierra Del Fuego to Deadhorse, Alaska, in a record time of 11 days and 17 hours, breaking the existing record by more than 2 days. Between Panama and Columbia the standard Touareg V6 TDI Clean Diesel was transported in a charter aircraft. Only two additional tanks of 120 l each were installed before. During the course of this nonstop- marathon drive through the American continents, the team crossed 14 countries and nearly all climate zones of the world. A special challenge was the change from the Pampa, which was easy to cross, to the difficult terrain of the Columbian highlands. Two rises on more than 3000 m altitude had to be completed and the border to Costa Rica was extra opened at night for the record team to pass. Towards the end of the tour, the broken windshield, which was damaged by a stone chip on the Dalton Highway, made it difficult to see the gravel road outside. For every travelled kilometer, Rainer Zietlow donated 20 cents to a Plan International school project in Lima and also visited it in person.