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Bahrain gears up for Grand prix

Manama, April 8, 2013

Around 500 tonnes of special racing equipment and material will start arriving in Bahrain today for the next weekend's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, a report said.

Five Boeing 747s carrying 35 containers will touch down at Bahrain International Airport throughout this week and the next to ensure that needs of some of the biggest names in motorsports are catered for, according to the report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.

They are being transported by DHL, the official logistics partner for Formula One, to every Grand Prix race.

The company is responsible for all of the freight movements for the Formula One teams, including the transportation of the racing cars, engines, tyres, spare parts and fuel, in addition to all the equipment used in the pits, Paddock Club and telecast.

"The logistics exercise in moving the cargo from Shanghai to Bahrain has already begun," said DHL Express Mena operations vice president Bachi Spiga.

“DHL will bring around 500 tonnes of equipment to Bahrain this year like in the previous years. Throughout the season, we move the same equipment across five continents and between 19 countries by land, sea and air, according to a tightly-controlled timetable.

"This is a massive exercise, which we at DHL as well as the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) have perfected,” Spiga added.

With only 11 days until the event, which will be held at the BIC on April 19, 20 and 21, Spiga said the operation of moving equipment and setting it up at the circuit was on schedule.

"We are not only involved with Formula One but also with the GP2 that is part of the event. Other events that happen at the BIC throughout the year also have DHL's involvement."

There is an average of 20,000 items transported by air for each F1 race, the most important and expensive of which are the racing cars.

Other freight include TV and camera equipment, VIP tents, computers, radio sets and even paper serviettes and vacuum cleaners.

Spiga said DHL also provides an 'Extra Services Team' on standby to meet the special requirements of teams, organisers and sponsors.

"Deliveries to and from the track can be made within 24 hours by express flights," he said. "An on-board courier accompanies any urgent package throughout the journey, expedites clearance through customs and even takes it by helicopter directly to the paddock if required."

He added that a select global team from DHL works closely with Formula One Management (FOM) to ensure seamless logistics support for all F1 races and official test runs around the world.

Meanwhile, DHL Express global media relations spokesperson Daniel McGrath said F1 equipment travels by sea, land and air.

He said for the overseas races, the teams have three to four identical sets of 40 feet sea containers. "A complete paddock fills the cargo holds of five jumbo jets and every Formula One team transports roughly 30 tonnes to each overseas race," he said.

"For the European races, this figure rises to between 35 and 40 tonnes. The teams are completely self-sufficient - they bring their own water bottles, refrigerators, cabling and even their own power generators."

McGrath said fuel transport for each race includes 2,500 litres of motor fuel, 140 litres of engine oil, 40 litres of gear oil and 90 litres of engine coolants.

"The fuel is transported in special fireproof canisters with capacities of between 50 and 200 litres," he explained.

He also said the front and rear wings of the F1 cars, their steering wheels, rear view mirrors and sidepods are removed before being transported.

"The bottom and the sides of the car are encased in wooden panels, while at the rear, a bumper protects the gearbox," he added. "At the other end, a specially-designed cover safeguards the steering and the front of the chassis." – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: DHL | Formula 1 | airport | BIC | freight | Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix |

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