Pukekohe: V8s hit the high seas for Auckland

Auckland Bound Big Rigs hit the Tasman Strait For the first time, V8 Supercar Championship teams will ship their entire equipment load to New Zealand when 10 of Australia's largest Racing Transporters drive straight on to the 'Maersk Wind' ...

Auckland Bound Big Rigs hit the Tasman Strait

For the first time, V8 Supercar Championship teams will ship their entire equipment load to New Zealand when 10 of Australia's largest Racing Transporters drive straight on to the 'Maersk Wind' in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The B-Double semi-trailers, weighing in at almost 1000 tonnes, are bound for Auckland and the PlaceMakers NZ V8 International at the Pukekohe circuit next week.

When they return to Brisbane they will literally drive off the ship and straight to Darwin for the next event at Hidden Valley Raceway on May 21-23.

In these trucks will be 32 race cars, an AUDI safety car and course car, race tyres, engines, gear boxes, mobile boardrooms, scooters, motorbikes, thousands of pieces of equipment and tools.

On top of this more than 500 people, numerous container loads of mechanical and corporate equipment will also head for Auckland in the weeks leading up to the race.

The trucks will be shipped by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines. The Maersk Wind is a 180m long vessel that is capable of carrying more than 4000 cars. It is purpose built for carrying cars and trucks. The four-year-old ship weighs more than 16,000 tonnes.

The beauty of the vessel from the V8 Supercar Championship Series perspective is that it has nine individual decks that are hydraulically operated to allow for differing vehicle heights.

This means that the B-Double trailers, that are up to 4.6m high and 25 metres long, can be easily accommodated in the hull.

The sheer size of the trailers presents even more logistical challenges on arrival in New Zealand.

They are actually too long under New Zealand road regulations, meaning that once they arrive in Auckland they must be driven as separate trailers under escort with special road permits on pre-determined routes and times.

Effectively this turns a one-hour trip in a car from Auckland to Pukekohe into a seven-hour journey.

-avesco-

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Series Supercars