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Lucrative little Lotus nightmare
The life of a speciality vehicle wrapper is never routine, especially when dealing with wraps for motorsports teams, and I should know because I’ve wrapped plenty of race cars in my time.
What my years of experience has taught me is that the one constant factor you can always be sure to come up against when dealing with motorsports wraps is a distinct lack of time; as South East England vehicle livery specialist company Signtek was to find out when it was contacted by the team from Lotus Sport at 5.15pm on a Wednesday evening to ask if it was possible to wrap a Lotus Evora in time for a race in the British GT Championship on the Friday.
The challenge involved the team at Signtek recreating the artwork for a full body wrap from scratch with only photos for reference and then having to produce the printed vinyl needed to wrap the car. They also had to strip the car of its existing vinyl livery, featuring the previous season’s design and clean it before applying the new wrap – and all within a nightmare 36-hour period.
One of the things you have to keep in mind when dealing with motorsports teams is that quality is paramount and in this instance there was no margin for error - the end result had to reflect Lotus’s standing as a high profile team in the GT Championship. Therefore the pressure was on; Lotus Sport needed the project completed on time in order to transport the car to the Nürburgring in Germany in time for the first qualifying session.
Fortunately for Signtek we both share the same supplier in Robert Horne because the wrap for the Lotus Evora was to be produced using Orafol vinyl film, a high impact solution for vinyl graphics and an exclusive product which is available only from Robert Horne who delivered everything for the job by 7am next morning. What I like about Orafol is it offers really good rendering, durability and – most of all –if you know what you are doing, it is pretty much a doddle to apply.
The team from Signtek had to work round the clock until 3.00am on the Friday morning, during which time they produced the graphics to the specification of Lotus, stripped off the old livery and wrapped the vehicle in a black and gold finish utilising the Orafol vinyl. As expected the vinyl performed perfectly and Signtek’s wrap team was able to get the job done; finishing by 5am on the Friday morning.
After a full 20 hour shift, the Evora was transported to the Nürburgring where it qualified fastest, and finished third overall in its class for British GT cars in the race.
It seems that Lotus was more than happy with the results, so much so that they have now appointed the firm to produce a series of ongoing motorsports wraps for the team. Therefore what initially looked to be a bit of nightmare of a wrap project turned out to be a reasonably lucrative little nightmare for Signtek!
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