We’re Autoglym, one of the UK’s leading car care firms and, though you might not realise it, committed motorsport geeks! We’ve been a part of the global motorsport scene for almost three decades, a span of time that’s seen us sponsor and supply detailing products to some of the most iconic and successful race teams around. At the time of writing, our branding (and products) can be found on a large percentage of the cars competing within the British Touring Car Championship, a number of British GT machines, an F1 team, various F1 feeder series, a selection of high profile drift cars, and a smattering of off-road trucks and drag racers, and many more. Here then, is our rundown of the greatest Autoglym associated competition cars.
2004 BAR 006
You could make a fairly strong case for the early part of this century being one of F1’s Golden Eras. The cars looked great, the competition was strong, the grid boasted a healthy crop of manufacturer-backed entrants, the V10 still reigned supreme, and the racing was close. It was also the decade that saw Jenson Button and BAR surge to the front of the field, the latter making full use of Autoglym products thanks to a high profile deal that saw us supply the Honda-powered team with our industry-leading detailing solutions. Our waxes and polishes might not have made the cars any quicker, but they certainly helped them look their best!
2016 – Subaru Levorg
This year has seen Subaru make a dramatic BTCC debut with its Levorg estate, only the third time such a body style has graced the series. Its decision to entrust the running and preparation of the Levorg’s to Team BMR has proven to be a very wise one indeed, as has its signing of both Colin Turkington and Jason Plato, two of the most talented tin-top racers on the grid. The mix of Levorg, flat-four boxer, Team BMR expertise and the driving prowess of the men mentioned above has already proved its worth, with the Subarus having overcome a difficult start to the season to claim several outright wins. Indeed, the Team BMR Levorgs eventually scooped 6 outright wins, 5 of which belonged to Turkington, the Northern Irishman eventually finishing the season with more victories than any other driver on the grid.
1989 Aston Martin AMR1
Few names are as steeped in motorsport folklore as Aston Martin, and the late ’80s saw Newport Pagnell’s finest take to the race tracks of the world once again, this time in the impressively bonkers Group C category of sports car racing. At its peak, Group C boasted packed grids and entries from some of the most exotic constructors around, while relatively unrestrictive rules gave them carte blanche to really push the engineering envelope. We teamed up with Aston to supply their AMR1, a rip-snorting monster powered by a re-worked version of the V8 found in the Virage road car, with a full selection of cleaning products. Its capacity was enlarged to 6.0l and it made a handy 600bhp (evolution versions even made as much as 720bhp), enough to power the cars to a best place of 4th at Brands Hatch in 1989.
1997 Thrust SSC
It might not have been a competition car in the traditional sense, but Thrust SSC more than merits inclusion in this list. Fittingly, considering the significant role the UK played in land speed record attempts in the ’20s and ’30s, the British Thrust SSC smashed the world record in 1997, becoming the first car to officially break the sound barrier and hitting an astonishing 763mph in the process. A pair of Rolls Royce Spey jet engines provided propulsion (they produced a combined power output of 110,000bhp), our waxes and polishes kept it looking immaculate, and RAF Wing Commander Andy Green was entrusted to drive/pilot the 10.5ton beast. The record stands to this day.
2012 – Pirtek Racing
Few outfits better demonstrate the special place that the BTCC occupies in the hearts of the British motor racing community than Pirtek Racing. An underdog team with a justifiable reputation for punching miles above its weight, Pirtek will forever be associated with Andrew Jordan’s famous Drivers’ title back in 2013. Autoglym has supported Pirtek Racing since 2012, the year that Andrew Jordan won the Independents’ title and a period that’s seen them battle for titles and become one of the most beloved squads on the BTCC grid. Andrew Jordan and Pirtek Racing currently campaign one of the Motorbase Focus STs, the car instantly identifiable by its stunning blue mirror finish wrap!
2009 Gobstopper I
Olly Clark and the Roger Clark Motorsport should need little introduction to anyone with an interest in Time Attack or advanced Subaru fettling, the Clark brothers having earned a reputation for churning out some of the UK’s most impressively tuned Imprezas. Gobstopper I and II are undoubtedly RCM’s best known creations, and while it’s the latter that most recently made headlines by dominating all comers at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s the GC8-shape Gobstopper I that brought the firm its early success. Clad in our distinctive logos and industry-leading products, Gobstopper I won the prestigious Ten Of The Best Competition from 2007 – 2009, before going on to dominate UK Time Attack in both 2008 and 2009.
2012 – Balfe Motorsport
One of the most consistently successful teams in the hotly contested world of GT racing, our association with the Balfe Motorsport outfit has proved hugely rewarding. Currently competing within the International GT Open championship, the Balfe team is another that consistently punches above its weight, with driver Shaun Balfe often dicing with some of the most respected GT drivers around. The team currently sits 2nd place overall, though the decision to swap from the Ferrari 458 Italia to a McLaren 650S GT3 should see them able to compete for further victories as the season progresses.
2012 – Halfords Yuasa Racing
The partnership between Team Dynamics and Honda has proved one of the most fruitful in BTCC history, with a string of Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles, plus a number of championship firsts, namely the first touring car podiums and wins for an estate car (the Civic Tourer) back in 2014. The team’s immaculately turned out Civic Type Rs took Gordon Shedden to the title last year and helped Honda to win yet another Constructors’ championship. The return of Halfords as the team’s headline sponsor also means a welcome return of the iconic orange and black war paint, a livery that’s never less than pristine thanks to liberal coatings of our Super Resin Polish and High Definition Wax.
2016 proved to be another incredibly successful season for the Autoglym sponsored Civics, the works Honda team able to challenge for wins at all the diverse circuits visited by the BTCC circus. Defending champion Gordon Shedden evidently found the 2016 car to his liking, as he used it to mount a stunning title defence, one that grew in momentum as the season progressed and ultimately enabled him to secure the crown for a second year running at the final round of the year at Brands Hatch.
2016 – Ford GT WEC
Ford’s win at Le Mans with the GT40 back in 1966 is quite rightly regarded as an all time classic, partly because of the sensational racing, partly because of the famously bitter political dispute between Ferrari and Ford which underpinned it. This year saw Ford return to Le Mans with an all new GT, one every bit as pretty as the original and much, much more sophisticated. The GTs competed in the LM GTE Pro Class and, fittingly, went head to head with the Ferrari squad and its 458 Italia GT2s, plus a selection of Corvette C7Rs. An intense battled raged throughout the night and competition was suitably close, but the number 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT eventually emerged victories. A fitting tribute to Ford’s brilliant win half a century ago, and a fantastic experience for all of us at Autoglym!
2012 – Acorn Zenises Motorsport
Proving that our association with motorsport is far from limited to traditional, lights to flag racing, the firm has long been a stalwart supporter of British drifting. Undoubtedly one of the most exciting forms of motorsport around, drifting’s grassroots appeal knows no bounds and continues to draw massive crowds. Autoglym products and branding have been a fixture on the Acorn Zenesis Motorsport drift team’s cars for four years now, and the front running outfit has fielded some of Europe’s most spectacular sideways merchants, including Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni.