CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Penske Packs for Australia

You're going on a trip, halfway around the globe. It's more than 9,500 miles, more than 22 hours by plane. You will lose almost an entire day on the way there and regain the day coming back. Where you're going, it's 15 hours ahead of the...

You're going on a trip, halfway around the globe.  It's more than 9,500
miles, more than 22 hours by plane.  You will lose almost an entire day on
the way there and regain the day coming back.  Where you're going, it's 15
hours ahead of the present time at home.  This is a loooooong trip.

Now, imagine you're packing for yourself and 30 other guys working on four 98 Marlboro Penske Mercedes. Each race car consists of a 1,450-piece chassis and 3,000-piece engine. And then there are the various tools and accessories necessary for proper race car maintenance. Not to mention uniform shirts, shoes, patches and pants.

This is just one of the packing problems presented to Tim Lombardi, Team Coordinator for Marlboro Team Penske, as he prepares for the CART race in Surfer's Paradise, Australia, October 18. And no, surfboards are not on the manifest.

Penske Racing transporters, loaded with four race cars and equipment, will leave the shop at Reading, Pa. early Thursday, October 8. They are scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis Friday where contents will be transferred onto FedEx cargo planes for the 22 hour flight to Brisbane, Australia. Lombardi and crew supervise the loading at Indy then meet the palates and crates in Australia next week. CART's agreement with the race promoter allows a specified weight per race car entered. If a team wants to exceed this load limit it may at its own expense.

Quotable Quotes ...

TIM LOMBARDI -- (Australia was the first overseas venture for CART back in 1991 and offered team officials like Tim Lombardi a unique packing and transportation challenge.) "We've learned a lot since that first trip in 1991 and the process is now pretty standard. It's certainly more complicated than trips to other cities, even Canada. Customs officials expect complete manifests on paper and computer disc. We normally travel the cars in what we call 'car bags' which go under, over and above the car. We remove the nose cones and wings but leave rain (treaded) tires on for protection. Years ago we built our own flight containers which are specifically made for our equipment. That first year we probably had over 125 cases. Now we have fewer but larger cases and I would say we will take 50-70 to Australia. Most of the crates would remind you of how they transport concert equipment, kind of an anvil box. We'll probably send eight people to Indianapolis this week with the three transporters. They'll drop everything off and we won't see it again until it's delivered to our garage area at Surfer's. Once the cars arrive in Brisbane they'll be put on flatbed trucks for the trip up to Surfer's. Of course, we have weight restrictions and everything is regulated by customs. CART provides space for up to 7,300 pounds per car. Anything over that and it's on our tab."

Rsource: MRN

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Series IndyCar
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske