APE Wraps uses its HP Designjet 9000 and Avery media for a one-of-a kind wrap on a Ferrari F430.
By Clare Baker
24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans) is arguably the world's most famous motorsport endurance race. With its famous location, storied history, huge spectator turnout, and, not to mention, the 24 hours of racing, it has a certain je ne sais quoi that is hard to find elsewhere. For such a one-of-a-kind race, Krohn Racing turned to Coronado, CA-based APE Wraps to create a one-of-a-kind wrap for a Ferrari F430 that would be taking to the track in Le Mans this June. But it would not be the first time APE Wraps tackled this Ferrari job for Krohn racing-the actual car has been wrapped three times since February.
In creating the graphics for the initial wrap, APE Wraps based the design and color-a candy-apple green that is a close match to Krohn's factory paint-on the racing team's prototype car in the Le Mans Series. The files were generated in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. APE Wraps then mapped the F430 and the graphics were sized and paneled to fit the car. 'After all the mapping was done,' says Troy Downey, owner of APE Wraps, 'this project was fairly straightforward as it was primarily a blackout application, with the exception of overlays and the blue style points.'
For final output, APE Wraps alternates between using its Seiko Colorpaint 64 and its Hewlett-Packard Designjet 9000, depending on which printer is available at the time. For the most recent wrap done for Le Mans, this happened to be the HP Designjet 9000. Print time was an estimated 8 hours for each job. Each wrap was output onto Avery MPI 1005 EZ RS; totaling about 415 sq ft. The graphics were finished with Avery DOL 1000 laminate using an AGL laminator and were cut with a Summa D1600SL Cutter; finishing took 3 hours for each wrap. Installation took two APE Wraps employees 8 to 12 hours. 'Installation [times for] these types of vehicles can vary depending on the state of body panels at race preparation time,' says Downey.
In business since 2003, APE Wraps has six employees and utilizes an 8000-sq-ft facility. In that short time, the shop has established a name for itself as a leader in vehicle wraps and custom graphics and continues, with each new job, to race toward success.