EXPRESS CARGO DELIVERY TO TWIN RING MOTEGI
By: Dave Lewandowski
TOKYO -- Two Nippon Cargo Airlines 747s, carrying more than 420,000 pounds of IZOD IndyCar Series equipment to stage the Indy Japan, landed at Narita International Airport on Sept. 12 to complete the first leg of transportation to Twin Ring Motegi.
Meanwhile, 1,526 Firestone Firehawk tires and corresponding mounting equipment arrived at the Port of Tokyo after a 16-day voyage from Long Beach, Calif., and the cargo arrived at Twin Ring Motegi on Sept. 4.
It’s quite a logistics production, and one that INDYCAR has orchestrated since 2003. This year, because of the race being held on the 2.983-mile, 14-turn road course instead of the 1.5-mile oval, teams were allotted 750 pounds more in their packing to cover added weight of brakes, springs, gears, etc., and the 100-pound difference in the road course chassis compared to the oval chassis.
Competing on the road course because the oval was damaged in the March earthquake also increased the tire allotment for the 26-car field. All the tires were manufactured in June and July at Firestone’s facility in Akron, Ohio, and trucked to Performance Tire Service Company in Indianapolis on Aug. 12 for their 8,102-mile journey.
The primary tires (six sets) each entrant receives are new for this year, as are the alternate (three sets; last used at Edmonton) and rain tire (last used at Brazil).
“This is a bittersweet event for us, as it will be the IZOD IndyCar Series’ last trip to Japan – the home of Firestone Racing’s parent company, Bridgestone Corporation,” said Firestone Racing executive director Al Speyer, who marked at the Baltimore Grand Prix on Sept. 4 marked Firestone’s 200th IndyCar victory since re-entering the sport in 1996.
“We’re tremendously excited to make our debut on Twin Ring Motegi’s road course, as it will give the Japanese fans their first chance to see our alternate tire program in action.”
BTW: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which joins ANA's fleet this year, moves on the ground on Bridgestone tires. ANA (All Nippon Airways) carried almost all the participants of the Indy Japan from the States to Tokyo.