Nettl branch speeds young racer into pole position

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, August 23, 2021

Still only 15, Max Dodds started out racing karts at the age of four and this summer marked his first season in the Ginetta Junior Championship, a proven feeder series for GT, Touring Cars, Formula 1, and other higher echelons of motor racing.

What was produced?
Dodds was racing in a Ginetta car wrapped to maximise its aerodynamic performance by Cheshire printer Nettl Crewe & Nantwich, which is soon rebranding to We Display. The business was introduced to Dodds through Thermal Road Repairs, a commercial client who is sponsoring the racer.

The company used AERO Sustainable Paint Technology for the job. A highly durable film-based paint that is 50% lighter than traditional sprayed paint, AERO is said to offer paint’s aesthetic advantages, but with the benefits of a colour change film, while also being stronger and more durable than traditional vinyl.

What did the job entail?
In terms of pre-press work, most elements were provided to Nettl Crewe & Nantwich, which then drew up a final design and layout for approval based on direction from Dodds’ team, who then made the final decision.

The company used a Mimaki UCJV300 with its dense, bright white ink to overprint sponsor logos and branding across the separate black and green coloured AERO products. A Mimaki LA-160 laminator was then used to add a clear coat, and a Mimaki CG-FXII cutter to plot any contours or shape the AERO material.

Around 20 metres of the 1.52m-wide coloured AERO product was required to wrap
the car, which was white to begin with.

For vehicle application, Nettl Crewe & Nantwich uses SolidWorks 3D mapping software, and the panels are pre-shaped and cut prior to application. The company’s team applied these to the car, accurate to the visual proof signed off by Dodds and his team.

Managing director Mark Jones said: “AERO is finding real traction in the motorsport sector. From a local motocross outfit to Max as an up-and-coming racing driver, right through to Le Mans and F1 teams, we’re seeing multiple advantages of choosing AERO as the means of applying colour, branding, and livery.

“With its strong eco-credentials, we’re also experiencing good take-up from environment-first businesses with large fleets of liveried vehicles who want a long-lasting, PVC-free wrapping solution.”

What challenges were overcome?
The April job was completed in just two days to meet the tight deadline which is usual in motorsport. A five-strong team from the business was involved, including designers, production, and fitters.

What was the feedback?
Dodds was delighted with the end result. Prior to the start of the season he said the AERO wrap “has made a difference not just to how the car looks, but in how it drives”.

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