For Porsche, tackling the issue of how best to transport two 919 Hybrid race cars and all the necessary support equipment for the 2014 World Endurance Championship season required no small measure of ingenuity.
The Porsche team uses air freight to ship most of its cargo, and they must utilize every square inch to ensure that each 919 Hybrid race car, as well as several thousand other items, can all fit their allotted space. In total, all of this equipment fits within 12 units, each sized 10 by 7.5 feet, with no single unit weighing more than about 6600 pounds.
One reason for the fuss is that the 747 cargo plane, chartered by DHL, is shared with a few other WEC teams. 10 of the team’s 12 packaging units are custom-formed, so that they can fit the contours of the plane’s fuselage and minimize any unused space. The two 919 Hybrid race cars themselves are secured onto extra car racks, all their fluids having been drained prior to loading. The cars are also typically shipped engine-less, so that the 2.0 liter four-cylinder petrol mills can be sent to Weissach for rebuilding between events.
Meanwhile, shipping by sea is considerably less expensive, so much of the team’s less-essential equipment is shipped thusly. But, because shipping by sea is also slower, Porsche has identical equipment on three different ships during the season, so that between the three, the cargo never misses the next event.
It all just goes to show you that sometimes, in order to go fast, you first have to take your time.