Setting sail for the Far East with WEC
Transporting 36 racing cars and associated equipment safely around the world in a sustainable, cost-effective and timely manner is one of the biggest challenges that faces the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Transporting 36 racing cars and associated equipment safely around the world in a sustainable, cost-effective and timely manner is one of the biggest challenges that faces the FIA World Endurance Championship but one it meets year after year thanks to a lot of collaborative hard work!
To help control budgets, the vast majority of the cargo is sea-freighted as opposed to being transported by air. The task of deciding what should or should not be shipped is a mammoth one, and the WEC’s Logistics team works closely with the entrants and WEC partner DHL throughout the year. Many kilos of paperwork and customs carnets – the result of thousands of emails in preparation for the sea journeys – are generated, checked and double-checked.
That work is heightened this month as the freight for the overseas rounds of the Super Season leaves directly after the Silverstone round (17-19 August).
When a certain container ship leaves the port of Southampton on the south coast of England on 27th August, it will be carrying no fewer than 70 WEC-organised shipping containers – each 40ft/12m in size and capable of carrying over 26,000 kg of goods – plus those of tyre companies Michelin and Dunlop with the thousands of tyres to be used in Japan and Shanghai.
Secured by 1500 straps while travelling, these containers will be the temporary home at the overseas rounds for the teams’ race cars, spares, pit and garage equipment plus championship equipment such as pace cars, banners and signage, Le Mans Spirit Club set up (hospitality), office machinery, all the TV equipment and much more.
Setting sail for the Far East
Once a team has informed the WEC Logistics team about the quantity of freight it intends to take, it is allocated containers which will be carefully packed during and after the 6 Hours of Silverstone event with loading advice from DHL. With everything ready and packed into flight cases before going into the containers, the freight will leave Silverstone and head straight to Southampton.
Already sent ahead this week will be all the teams’ consumables such as lubricants, brake cleaner, cleaning materials and so on (which are not permitted to travel with the cars), plus 3000 kg of goodies for fans at the Far Eastern rounds. All other consumables such as drinks and food are ordered locally including the hundreds of indispensable coffee capsules to help counteract jet lag!
For organisers and competitors alike, it’s always a special moment when the cars are delivered on time and are in place on the grid, with everything having worked according to plan. No one will breathe a bigger sigh of relief than those involved in the Logistics operation!