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Exclusive: Behind the Scenes with the Holmatro Safety Team - Part 1

As many of you may or may not be aware, our founding site ChampCarWorld, originated in the Netherlands headed up by Patrick Straver. Straver recently visited North America for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and caught up with the Holmatro Safety Team, a company native to the Netherlands as well. The team was incredibly welcoming to our visit and our questions, and as such, we are happy to bring you this two part series on the hardest working safety team in the business.

Part 1

For the average IndyCar Series fan, the brand name Holmatro doesn’t ring a bell, other than the title sponsor of IndyCar’s Safety Team. The company, which was formed 45 years ago in The Netherlands, is a manufacturer of – mainly hydraulic – safety- and rescue equipment needed after car accidents, like cutters, rams, spreaders and portably hydraulic pumps.

“Fire fighters or rescue teams have one objective; to get the victim, in all cases, to a hospital within one hour, even in case of very serious accident or if someone is stuck in the car. In this case the use of the best equipment possible is essential,” Holmatro marketing manager Ben van der Knaap told “Holmatro’s primary focus is the development of the most innovative and qualitative hydraulic tools.”

The opportunity to develop new products is one of the main reasons for Holmatro to be associated with the Holmatro Safety Team. Motorsports is always miles ahead of the cars on the public road, which allows the company to develop new products before rescue teams actually get the demand on the public roads.

“A very good example is a cutter that’s able to cur through carbon fiber,” Holmatro Safety Team crew leader Tim Baughman explained. “We’ve been using carbon fiber already for a very long time in motorsports and with this came the demand for a carbon fiber cutter. Nowadays, carbon fiber is getting more and more popular in the ordinary street cars, which gives Holmatro the advantage on their competitors. The Holmatro Safety Team enables Holmatro to be far ahead with new innovative rescue equipment.”

Innovation is not the only reason Holmatro was chosen to go into a partnership with the IndyCar Series. The company recognizes the entertainment value of the racing series for its public relations, due to the open atmosphere at the paddock and the pitlane, and of course the spectacular racing, IndyCar can be very impressive for the national and international guests of Holmatro. But there is another very important reason why the company chose the IndyCar Series.

“What makes IndyCar different compared to other racing series is that we’ve got the same rescue team at every track, including the overseas races in Brazil and China,” Van der Knaap continued. “Racing series like Formula 1 and NASCAR use the safety crew of the tracks they visit. Here in IndyCar, we’re able to use our own cars with Holmatro equipment at every race, which makes IndyCar unique in the world of motorsports.”

Since 2010 Holmatro has been the official title sponsor of IndyCar’s Safety Team, which includes three of the Safety Team’s four cars being painted in Holmatro’s orange and silver colors, while the team members wear matching overalls. Before that, Holmatro was title sponsor of Champ Cars’s Safety Team in 2007 and was already involved in American open wheel racing since the early 90’s.

Tomorrow in the second part of this special, we’ll focus on the tasks and the materials used by the Holmatro Safety Team.

Behind the scenes photos of the Holmatro Safety Team

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Written 05-05-2012, 12:24 pm
Updated 05-06-2012, 06:09 am
Written by M. Beer
Photography Patrick Straver /

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Thursday - September 19
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03:15 pm Race 

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3. S. Dixon 1:54:03
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5. F. Rosenqvist 1:54:06
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