Home  //  Circuit Guides Le Mans / FIA WEC Brazil (6 Hours of São Paulo)
Written by @Damien_Marquez   
Saturday, 29 November 2014 14:12

The 6 Hours of São Paulo is the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). It takes place on the 28-29-30 November at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos. The circuit will be undergoing an upgrade in 2015 and this will be the last opportunity to attend this event until at least March 2016, the slot the promoter is trying to secure for their return on the calendar.

Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi may have already clinched the driver's championship at the last round in Bahrain, but the manufacturer's title is yet to be decided as Audi still has a mathematical chance of retaining it. That said, Toyota only needs an eigth place if Audi scores a one-two. However, anything is possible in Interlagos when factoring in the unpredictable weather at this time of the year.


PHOTO : JEAN MICHEL LE MEUR / DPPI for FIAWEC.COM

The Porsche prototype cars have also steadily improved since the 24 hours of Le Mans last June. Mark Webber is a bit of a specialist here having won the Brazilian GP twice and the team will be looking to score their first win on the year of their return to the LMP1 category. Expect the locals to support Lucas di Grassi in the Audi #1 car who'll be flying the flag for Brazil as well as Fernando Rees in the GTE-Pro Aston Martin. The event will also mark Tom 'Monsieur Le Mans' Kristensen's last race.

There are many reasons as to why the 6 Hours of São Paulo is such a great event. It is affordable with prices starting from as little as R$20 / $9 / £7 / €8 / ¥1,000 for the Friday and R$170 / $80 / £50 / €60 / ¥8,000 for all three days in a covered grandstand. Hospitality packages start from R$600 / $270 / £170 / €210 / ¥30,000 for the Saturday Practice and qualifying.

Add to that a pit lane walk on both Saturday and Sunday, the latter inclusive of a 30 minute autograph session. Of all the circuits visited during the year, this is the one where you see the cars most often as the lap is very short. Finally, it's good to note that most grandstands and hospitality units offer a panoramic view of the racetrack.

São Paulo, is Brazil's largest city and business centre. It might not be as pretty or charming as Rio de Janeiro but it is a rather cosmopolitan and vibrant metropolis offering a mature culture scene, excellent restaurants, hip cafes and shopping experiences.

 

CONTENTS

1 // Location and accommodation
2 // Money matters
3 // Ticket prices
4 // Which grandstand or hospitality
5 // Tips and recommendations
6 // Useful links to prepare your São Paulo trip

 

1 // LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATION

The circuit is located in Interlagos, some 16 km South of São Paulo city centre. The fastest and safest way to reach the track is via public transport.

The neighbourhood of Interlagos doesn't offer much to visitors and is probably best avoided anyway. Good spots for accommodation are on Avenida Paulista and between Berrini and Morumbi stations for luxury hotels, ideally located on Line 9-Emerald (Linha 9-Esmeralda), 4-5 stops away (13 km) from Autódromo Station. The journey by train to the circuit takes about 40 minutes from Paulista Station.

Directions:
Take the Metrô at Paulista Station on the Line 4-Yellow (Linha 4-Amarela) and change at Pinheiros Station for the overground CPTM train services. The track is a 600 metre walk from Autódromo Station on Line 9-Emerald (Linha 9-Esmeralda).
If your accommodation is too far away from Paulista Station, use Line 2-Green (Linha 2-Verde) which goes along Avenida Paulista and stop at Consolação. The station is integrated with Paulista through an underground interconnection.

Morumbi is the home of the gigantic MorumbiShopping mall and Berrini is a convenient location for anyone flying into town as the airport shuttle stops at the Brooklin World Trade Center. Access to a more upmarket nightlife in the adjacent district of Moema, is via bus 5154. Plenty of bars and restaurants can also be found in the neighbouring Brooklin and Ibirapuera districts, which are known to be very safe.

Another safe way to the circuit is by taxi (booking though your hotel is recommended). The traffic in São Paulo can be horrendous so expect to be in the car for a couple of hours as well as a hefty fare. The address is Avenida Senador Teotônio Vilela, 261, Interlagos – São Paulo – SP, CEP 04801-010. Be aware that motorists can be a bit aggressive and it is probably best not to hire a car unless you are familiar with the city or country.


Pit straight - Grandstand A in the background - PHOTO : DPPI for FIAWEC.COM

 

2 // MONEY MATTERS

Living costs in São Paulo are similar to most European or North American countries. As one of the fly-away WEC weekends, the biggest share of the costs to attending the event will be flights.

Return airfares to São Paulo start from:
• $1,900 / BD800 (2 stops) and $2,600 / BD1,000 (1 stop) from Bahrain
• £900 (direct) or £600 (1 stop) from London
• €1,500 (direct) or €900 (1 stop) from Paris
• $900 (direct) from New York
• $1,500 / ¥180,000 (1 stop) from Tokyo
• A$3,700 (1 stop) or A$2,700 (2 stops) from Sydney

Four night accommodation from:
R$1,100 / $500 / £300 / €400 / ¥52,000 for a double/twin room in a four star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool on Avenida Paulista and a review score of 7/10 or more on Booking.com.

Visa:
There are 77 countries, inclusive of the UK, NZ and Germany, for which their nationals do not require a tourist visa for stays of up to 90 days (up to 30 days for Singaporeans). US, Australian and Japanese citizens need a visa to enter the country for tourism purposes. It costs $160, A$42 and / ¥3,250 respectively.

Food and drinks:
R$420 / $200 / £120 / €150 / ¥19,800 per person for four days. although local meals such as prato feito, prato comercial or refeição completa start from $5 / £3 / €4 / ¥4,800.

Single Metrô and/or train ticket (e.g. to/from the track from Paulista Station):
R$3.00 / $1.40 / £0.90 / €1.10 / ¥150

Airport transfer from Guarulhos Airport to Avenida Paulista, Jardins or Brooklin World Trade Center:
• R$85 / $40 / £25 / €30 / ¥4,100 for a prepaid taxi
• R$30 / $14 / £9 / €11 / ¥1,500 for the airport bus shuttle.

Internet access:
R$45 / $21 / £13 / €16 / ¥2,200 for a SIM card and 400MB to 1GB worth of data on either Vivo or TIM.

TOTAL BUDGET (excluding flights and tickets):
R$2,000 / $900 / £600 / €700 / ¥95,000 for a solo traveller or R$2,500 / $1,200 / £700 / €900 / ¥118,000 for a couple.

 

3 // TICKET PRICES

Compared to the very expensive Brazilian Grand Prix, the 6 Hours of São Paulo are extremely good value, whether for grandstand or hospitality packages. All tickets are inclusive of pit walks on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as the autograph session before the race. Hospitality guests also get an exclusive grid walk which takes place a few minutes before the start of the race, to meet the drivers and team personnel. Children aged 5 to 12 enjoy free access except for hospitality and there's even a Sat/Sun family ticket for Grandstand A (R$220) for two adults and two children aged 13-17.

Prices from the organisers are in bold. Please note the Le Mans Spirit Club hospitality package is sold by World Endurance Championship rather than the local promoter. Exchange rates are sourced from xe.com and based on the highest rate since the last 6 Hours of São Paulo. Four-digit R$ prices have been rounded up to the nearest $/£/€100 and three-digit prices to the $/£/€10.


Image: www.ticket360.com.br - Tis Eventos Culturais Ltda

 

4 // WHICH GRANDSTAND OR HOSPITALITY

Unlike most circuits, it is not possible to walk around the track. There are little common areas for spectators to gather and building work for the temporary pits have already started at the end of the Senna S. Ticket holders are limited to the sector of their grandstand or hospitality suite, so choose your ticket wisely. The weather in São Paulo is always a bit of an unknown at that time of the year and almost all grandstands are covered, except for the cheaper Grandstand A. Other criteria will include the views, access to TV screens, grid preparations, start/finish and podium celebrations.

It is worth noting that despite tickets for all grandstands being numbered, very few spectators sit in their allocated seat and arriving early is recommended to secure a good spot. It might be preferable to purchase a hospitality ticket if this is likely to spoil your experience. We detail all grandstands below in order of price, from the cheapest to the most expensive.

Grandstand A is not covered and therefore open to the elements. It actually consists of concrete steps rather than seats unlike the neighbouring Grandstand B. From there you can followed the cars for most of the lap except for the Senna S (Turn1 and Turn 2) which is hidden by the pit and hospitality buildings. Spectators nearest to the pit building and Grandstand B will be right by the back of the grid preparations and pit lane entry, whereas those closer to Turn 14 will have a better view of the drivers going through the twisty section of the track between Turn 4 and Turn 14.
Whilst unbelievably close to the cars, bear in mind that the nearer you are to the pit building, the faster the cars travel and the more difficult it is to watch them. There is just the one TV screen at this grandstand.


Starting grid on the pit straight - PHOTO : FREDERIC LE FLOCH / DPPI for FIAWEC.COM

Grandstand B boasts similar views to Grandstand A except it is covered but has no TV screens nearby. It is closest to the pit lane entry, pit lane and the front of the grid. This is probably the best grandstand to pick for the podium celebrations.

Grandstands C and M face the team garages for pit lane action during the weekend. For a main straight grandstand, it is unconventionally placed between the starting grid and first turn and has limited views of the track due to the pit building opposite. Nonetheless, It features two TV screens and spectators in the top rows will be able to see the cars going through Turn 1 above the safety fence when they've passed the grandstand.

Grandstand L is what you'd normally call an executive grandstand. Snacks, fruit, ice cream and soft drinks are inclusive of the package. Located at Turn 7, cars can be followed between Turn 4 and Turn 14 and the view is generally above the safety fence

The Winner's Club is a full service hospitality lounge located on top of the garages in the pit building. Along with the customary open bar, it includes a food service. The ticket includes car park spot inside the track.

The Le Mans Spirit Club hospitality is housed in the Premium Lounge at the pit lane entry. The service features are breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, full open bar and TV monitors inside the lounge to follow the on-track action. Pass holders also have access to the paddock as well as the grid before the start of the race. One car park space is attributed for three tickets purchased.


Image: James Moy Photography Ltd for Toyota Motor Europe S.A./N.V.

 

5 // TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Commentary at the track is in Portuguese only, unless you are in a hospitality area where the English commentary accompanies the TV broadcast. From the grandstands, the English commentary of the race can be heard at radiolemans.com or via the TuneIn app.

We'd recommend getting the FIA WEC App to access the full live timings for free. Video streaming and Radio Le Mans commentary are available through an in-app purchase of $4.99 / £2.99 / €4.49 / ¥500. Make sure you have enough prepaid data if you decide to go for the paid version. More information can be found on www.fiawec.com/app.html.

The social media hashtag for the event is #6hSaoPaulo.

The vast majority of people in Brazil are happy and friendly but do speak a great deal of English, so it is a good idea learn some basic Portuguese before going as well as keeping a phrasebook handy.

All grandstands and hospitality suites are wheelchair accessible. There's also a specific disabled car park.

Umbrellas, along with flagpoles, cans, glass, plastic bottles and walking sticks are prohibited. Bearing in mind the changeable weather conditions, we'd recommend packing a poncho as well as sunscreen. It gets a bit cooler in the evening (19° C) so maybe take a jumper too. No food or drinks are allowed in but there will be stalls in the circuit.

São Paulo has a bit of a reputation as far as crime is concerned, however, this should not deter you from going there. With a bit of common sense and street smarts, you'll be just fine. Avoid the obvious tip-off such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches, don't pull out your phone or camera in crowded areas, no wandering the streets after dark or on your own. Keep your bag closed, and close to you. Robberies at traffic lights are not unheard of either, so keep your windows up and doors locked. If unsure or concerned then stay around the Morumbi, Berrini, Moema, Brooklin and Ibirapuera areas.


Autograph session during the Sunday pit walk - PHOTO : FREDERIC LE FLOCH / DPPI for FIAWEC.COM

 

6 // USEFUL LINKS TO PREPARE YOUR SAO PAULO TRIP

6hsp.com - BRL ticket sales and event information
www.fiawec.com - EUR hospitality ticket sales and event information

www.autodromodeinterlagos.com.br - Autódromo José Carlos Pace/circuit website
metro.sp.gov.br - São Paulo Metrô
cptm.sp.gov.br - train information (in Portuguese only)
cptm.sp.gov.br/E_IMAGES/geral/Mapa_popup.asp - Metropolitan Transport Network map
Booking.com - our trustworthy hotel reservation partner

www.vivo.com.br - mobile and broadband services from Vivo
www.tim.com.br - mobile and broadband services from TIM

radiolemans.com - English commentary from Radio Le Mans
TuneIn - radio streaming service
www.fiawec.com/app.html - FIA WEC App for new , classifications, circuit information, teams and drivers’ information, schedules, calendar, pictures, videos, highlights, light live timing and social network sharing of the whole Championship. In-App purchase will allow you to video stream the race from the TV and onboard cameras.

 

Acknowledgement: we would like to thank the Radio Le Mans team for their advice on the availability and accessibility of their commentary at the track.

Have you been to the 6 Hours of São Paulo? If so, please help us to improve this guide by leaving your impression of this event in the 'Write a Review' section of this website.

If you would like to add further information or correct any of the above article, please leave your comments below.

6 Hours of São Paulo spectator guide
 

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