From board room to va-va-voom!

Trimite Managing Director Nigel Smith swapped the board room for an engine vroom during a gruelling 24-hour driving competition at the famous Silverstone racetrack.

Alongside Nigel were son Luke, Andy Firth and Simon Byrne facing other motorsport enthusiasts at the annual Citroen C1 Challenge.

This was the first 24-hour race Nigel, 58, and Luke, 31 participated in after starting racing together three years ago at a six-hour race at the Anglesey circuit in North Wales. 

“We’ve spectated at the Le Mans 24-hour race together numerous times over the years and pledged that we would try to compete in our own 24 hour endurance race one day,” said Luke. “There’s some healthy rivalry between us and it was a fantastic experience made even more special by doing it with my dad.”

The team car, supported by the well-respected Preptech UK race team, sported the Trimite Global Coatings’ new logo and its famous high performing “Trimite orange” paint, a long-time visual staple for fans of motorsports andpowerboat racing alike. 

An early lead in the 24-hour race sadly came to an abrupt end just hours from the end when a blown gearbox – and subsequent running repairs – sent them all the way back to 40th place out of 58 teams, with Team Trimite eventually finishing a creditable 30th.

C1 racing has been dubbed the most fun on Earth and is the sport of choice for anyone who wants to go endurance racing on a budget. With tight controls on car modifications, this race is set to be a close contest determined by skill instead of deep pockets. Only the best drivers can win.

What is now known as the C1 racing club was originally founded to encourage more people to race Citroën 2CVs. But these are decades old now, so the club has opted to only allow non-modified first-generation C1s to compete, so everyone on a budget has a fair chance. The club’s first C1 races took place in 2018 and they have been hugely popular ever since, presumably due to the low start-up costs.

However, this is no small undertaking. Every car in the club’s races has to have its interior stripped, safety equipment added and meet a minimum weight limit. Also, with the phrase ‘no modifications’ appearing 19 times in their 2021 regulations, it should come as no surprise that they explicitly ban modifications to multiple aspects of the engine, suspension, transmission, electrics and steering system. All cars have to meet stringent safety regulations.