R-M supplies paints for German hip-hop star’s PSP racing team
Start your engines: BASF Coatings’ automotive paint brand featured in car racing.
Münster. R-M is banking on Smudo, the frontman of the German hip-hop band “Die Fantastischen Vier” (The Fantastic Four), the PSP racing team, and other partners to stay in the fast lane when it comes to sustainability, environmental compatibility, and efficient concepts. The PSP racing team’s “bioconcept car” with Smudo and former pro racer Thomas von Löwis of Menar is attracting a lot of attention – and sporting R-M brand paints produced by BASF Coatings. The whole team intends to use the “bioconcept car” to show that fun and success at the race track and sustainability can go hand in hand.
This year, Smudo and his PSP racing team will be driving a Mustang GT RTD at the races that make up the German Long Distance World Championship and the International 24-Hour Race on June 17th and 18th at the famous Nordschleife (North Circuit) that’s part of the Nürburgring race track. The team will be starting in one of the classes with the most participants, the “Alternative Fuel”. The Mustang is fueled by biodiesel that is extracted from rapeseed oil. In addition to the use of environmentally friendly paints and fuels, Smudo & Co. are going a step further this year. Parts of the racer are built of biogenic materials. The Mustang GT in the diesel racing version will have auto body parts made of high-tech natural fiber materials that meet all safety-related standards thanks to new material developments. This will expand the goal of sustainability even more, and is also a reason for R-M’s involvement.
With Smudo’s “bioconcept car”, R-M is outfitting a racing car that also stands for the sustainability approach in car racing. Smudo and his team are being supported by strong partners: PlayStation Portable, UFOP (Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants), Kumho Tires, Liqui Moly, Bilstein, BBS and Vogtland. Expert support is being provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Agency of Renewable Resources (FNR).
“Our R-M brand stands for a sustainable, eco-efficient paint concept, quick solutions for all paint-related issues, as well as lifestyle,” says Thorsten Schlatmann, Head of Sales for R-M Germany. That’s why using R-M for the “bioconcept car” project is not only obvious, but appropriate and the right thing to do.
Thorsten Stadler, the team’s technical leader, painted the car with his crew. “In the field of racing, what counts are speed, precision, and flawlessness. The R-M paints met all these challenges,” he says. The team concept, which is extremely important in racing, convinced him as well: “The material was right there when we needed it, application was trouble-free, and if we had any questions, R-M helped us on the double. That’s what it takes in racing – and why should it be any different when it comes to paint jobs?” Stadler says.
The power of the Mustang…
Smudo, whose real name is Michael B. Schmidt and was born in Offenbach, Germany in 1968, is going to be sinking his spurs into a genuine Mustang in the 2006 racing season. The body-in-white was sent by air freight directly from the Ford plant in Detroit – not all that far from the BASF Coatings’ Southfield site. “When I saw the body for the first time at the Frankfurt Airport, it was a great feeling, even though it meant we had to do a lot of work,” Stadler recalls. The first stop was at a body builder, who rebuilt the car in a series of steps, barely giving the welding equipment a second to cool down.
The body that emerged, complete with a “driver’s cage”, didn’t have a lot in common with the original Mustang. The next step was the paint job. “The R-M paints were easy to apply. The flow was great, there weren’t any runs, and the curing time was amazingly quick. That was crucial, because we were under huge time constraints,” Stadler reports. If there were any questions, help was only a phone call away. “The service was as quick as our work in the pit,” Stadler says, grinning. He will also be starting the race as the team’s third driver. The basic color of Smudo’s Mustang is white and red – the colors of partner PlayStation Portable. They are joined by the brands of the other sponsors. “We picked out the paint together, because we of course had to keep the demands posed by the sponsors’ designs in mind,” Stadler explains. No problem for the R-M experts – they quickly selected colors that were both correct and appropriate. After a bit of touch-up work and polishing the body’s new coat was dazzling.
The Mustang’s chassis comes from Mustang, and the 300 horsepower engine is based on a 2-liter TDI Ford Galaxy motor. The “2-liter pump diesel” motor construction consumes about 25 liters of biodiesel per 100 kilometers. The racing car is lightweight at just over the prescribed minimum weight of 1,000 kilograms – 1,080 kilograms to be exact. After the car was complete, the next step was a battery of driving and endurance tests over a period of 48 hours. “They’re absolutely necessary to guarantee safety,” Stadler says.
Smudo’s always around...
Smudo was updated on the progress of the work on nearly a daily basis. He’ll be driving in the race by himself.
What’s in store for Smudo & Co.
From the racing point of view, Smudo and his PSP racing team will be competing against well-known opponents this season, including Hans-Joachim Stuck. Stuck, who will be driving a BMW-sponsored BMW 1 Series, is considered to be the top favorite of the “Alternative Fuels” class. The race at the Nürburgring itself will be followed by 30,000 spectators, and for the 24-hour race, between 200,000 and 250,000 are expected. The circuit itself is extremely demanding. The famous Nordschleife is also referred to as “The Green Hell”. Racing pros consider it to be the most demanding circuit, showing their respect for the 20.8 kilometers of the Nordschleife. Tricky hills, 73 curves and up to 17 percent uphill and downhill grades surrounded by the gorgeous and charming landscape known as the Eifel await the racers.
For both the 4-hour race and the international 24-hour race, the team that covers the greatest distance, or number of laps, in the prescribed time wins. Every kilometer counts.
The entire racing series, as well as the starters, which include both private persons and pros, is considered to be very people friendly. The start and finish area is the only place where admission is charged, and even then, the price is low. And since visitors are welcome in the pit lane, it’s no problem to get close-up of the “bioconcept car”.
R-M Automotive Refinish : an important part of BASF Coatings
Under the R-M brand, BASF markets a comprehensive range of automotive refinishing paint systems, focusing on eco-efficient waterborne basecoats and high-solids paints. By using these systems all legal solvent-reduction requirements can be complied with anywhere in the world, and with regard to appearance and resistance, the products meet the same quality standards as solvent-borne paints. In this area, the company offers a wide variety of services to support its customers. R-M Automotive Refinish is approved by most of the leading car manufacturers for aftermarket repair and chosen by the world’s most prestigious car companies for its colour expertise.
BASF : A major international player in coatings
BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2004 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of 2.0 billion euros. The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water-based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part. In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.com
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