"We're taking approximately 400-thousand pounds worth of cargo with all the team's equipment, all their race cars, spare cars and spare parts and tooling to carry out the race in Brazil," said Bill Van De Sandt, Director of Operations for IndyCar.
The cars and equipment will be loaded onto a pair of 747 jets at the International Cargo Area of Indianapolis International Airport. "That's approximately 40-to-45 race cars that we'll be taking," said Van De Sandt, as IndyCar prepares for the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300, which takes place Sunday, April 29. The race is one of only two on the schedule that requires the transport of cars across an ocean – the first Qingdao Indy Grand Prix takes place in China in August.
It is a major operation to transport everything to South America. "The airlines have certain regulations they require us to carry out, with paper work and weights and what exactly we're allowed to ship," said Van De Sandt. But the hassle is worth it to travel to what is normally Formula One country – Brazil is the birthplace of the late F1 legend Ayrton Senna. "The fans in Brazil are amazing," said Van De Sandt. "They actually come from all over the world for that particular race. We're getting a very good international following with fans."