IndyCar teams face quick turnaround for Brazil trip
Paul "Ziggy" Harcus and Kyle Moyer huddle over a stack of packing manifests as a whirl of activity surrounds them as the team packs all the equipment needed to field the team's four-car lineup in the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on May 5.
More than 400,000 total pounds will be swallowed by two 747-400F cargo airplanes for the 5,000-plus-mile trip between Indianapolis and São Paulo, Brazil, in the first logistical leg overseen by SOS Global.
The behemoth planes will take off for Viracopos-Campinas International Airport in the state of São Paulo, where INDYCAR and entrants' cargo will be off-loaded and trucked to the venue. Firestone Firehawk tires, fuel and Dallara parts and equipment, which was shipped via ocean cargo vessel, will catch up with the air freight April 29.
With 25 entrants for the fourth IZOD IndyCar Series race on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit - all of whom competed in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 21 - the turnaround time is brief as teams have scheduled times April 26 to unload at the airport. Each entrant is limited to 9,000 total pounds, which necessitates economy of packing.
"It's a major undertaking to get everything packed," Harcus said, "and the paperwork side is another undertaking. Then you have the consumables; you have to make sure you take enough that you need but not waste it. We're organized; we've done it quite a few times with Brazil and Japan."
Activity at the Indianapolis shop doesn't cease while much of the workforce is away next week. Preparations for the May 11 Opening Day of practice for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including prepping a fifth car for regular Firestone Indy Lights driver Carlos Munoz, continue full tilt.
"We have some people back here finishing up for the '500,' '' Harcus added. "The shop-based team has everything laid out (equipment will be retrieved May 7 at the airport) and ready when we return for another quick turnaround so it does help. We're ahead of the game."