Racetracks are not a friendly place for your car’s appearance. Rocks are thrown by sticky tires. Brake dust from your pads makes streaks down the sides of your car. Your car is covered with dirt when you go off track. And of course broken bits laying around from your competitors mistakes. So how do you protect your own car at a track event?
We’ve observed a developing trend in track events over the past several years: tape, and plenty of it. That raises a question – how much is enough? How much is too much? And how much is absurdity? Lets talk absurdity.
We’ll start that discussion with a couple of Chevrolet Corvettes. Our first example is the Z06 above. There must be half a roll of painters tape on this first ‘vette. No amount of track debris would get thru this stuff.
A psychologist would probably attribute these Corvette examples to the unique psyche of your typical Corvette owner… but not being a Corvette owner ourselves (too young, too much hair on our head, etc), we can only make the supposition.
Being a computer geek, we’d equate the lack of symmetry in this next example to a poorly patched operating system: any number of attacks will get thru these defenses.
And then there is the question of color. Surely lime green doesn’t make the car go faster, as yellow is known to do to the Civic that your Mom gave you.
Clear is a little more livable… and we’re sure you can imagine the screech when this stuff gets pulled off. Kind of like when stock C5s go thru their tiny little brake pads?
We’re not sure we see the point of this one – except maybe posing. Only the outside edges of the headlamps would be protected. We probably missed the Gran Sport stripes on the side…
Here’s a nicely symmetrical tape job… note the car has protection but the passenger does not (no helmet!). How’d they get out on the track?
Another clear example. Perhaps the the yellow and chrome wheels are part of how this tom struts. Either he is trying to impress a potential mating partner…
And speaking of predators, note this Lotus Elise. Notice the element of color coordination. Very proper, in the British sense.
Archaeologists will dig up this Honda S2000 in a thousand years and find an intact leading edge. But unfortunately, given the aero characteristics of an S2000, most of the rock hits would take place half-way up the hood and in the windshield. So this does little to protect the car.
And it isn’t always tape. Here’s a vinyl bra put on for protection. Seriously, tech inspection should have required the removal of this.
We’re not sure of the purpose of the tape on the lower spoiler… perhaps the driver is planning to go off the track for a ride thru the dirt?
And then there is tape just to look cool. These yellow stripes serve no other purpose… unless they are some sort of retro throw-back to historical Corvette driver identification?
This Mazdaspeed3 uses tape sparingly. And conveniently the same tape can be used to provide for numbers.
Here’s some more bright color contrast – or else the driver was going for the official colors of Spoon from Japan? Note the CR front spoiler… somewhere underneath all that tape.
Finally, lets look at the Buffy end of the spectrum. They’re not immune either (although it’s usually M badges stuck on non-M models). Apparently, though, in this case the rest of the car has been thoroughly waxed. Which provides more protection in the end than any amount of tape. And certainly less damage when you have to remove the paint for the drive home.
We’re of the position that lots of tape is pointless. Track events are hard on your car, and that’s the point of it. If you’re out having a Sunday cruise, you aren’t driving hard enough. Spend some money on a good wax job instead. And especially on windshield coatings so that you can see where you’re going despite the dirt, oil, and brake dust.
And if you have to use tape, put it over your license plates so that your insurance company doesn’t find out what you’re doing with their car on the weekends!
And now that you have enough tape, you’re qualified to go flat out:
(Many thanks to our favorite racetrack – Texas World Speedway – may you R.I.P.)