Ze Germans are all about efficiency, whether it’s building a race-winning hybrid race car or shipping it from one end of the world to another. In a love letter to efficiency, the shipping details of the Porsche 919 Hybrid have been revealed, with a lot of thought put into packing every nook and cranny of the cargo planes.
Packing a plane requires no gaps between packages, and since Porsche shares airspace with other WEC teams, they’re limited in how much they’re allowed to bring. In this case, it’s 12 units measuring about 120 inches by 90 inches each, with a total weight of just 3,000 kgs, or about 6,600 lbs; a Porsche Cayenne weighs in at about 4,900 lbs, meaning the team’s total equipment weight is less than 1.5 luxury SUVs. That means the purchase of every aspect of running a race team, from the tool chest to the driver’s helmets, has to be bought or built with an eye for organization. Ten custom-made trailers were built, better than any that could have been bought (at least according to Porsche), and everything is packed so the important stuff can be accessed first. A lot of thought went into this, in case you can’t tell.
The cars themselves travel sideways on special racks that make the most of limited space, though they’re drained of fluids and easy-to-break bits like the side mirrors and uber-complicated steering wheel are removed prior to shipping. DHL has partnered with the WEC to provide all the logistics operations, and it’s also the exclusive delivery service of the Formula E series, though some items, like the Tensator metal barrier poles, are cheaper to ship by sea. These items come in “waves” that arrive months apart, but just in time for the big show. It’s far cheaper than shipping the heavy metal poles via airplane, though it can take some items four months or more to arrive after they’ve been “shipped”.
What it comes down to is the kind of organization that you could wrap an entire TLC show around, and I kind of wish Porsche had included a video to show it all coming together. It’s kinda hard to imagine fitting an entire racing team into a few cargo boxes, and it’s obvious a tremendous amount of thought went into the whole process. It’s one of those interesting little aspects of motorsports that is rarely highlighted, and I’m glad to see Porsche giving its proud packers some much-deserved credit.