In this video I journey to the bottom of the British Isles to furnish an abused Monaco White Lotus Exige V6 Cup with some post-track day love.
The front end was encrusted with Continental creepy crawlies that had well and truly embedded themselves in the transparent paint protection film, it’s flanks were inflicted with high speed scuffs which were the result of chunks of spent rubber being ejected by the sticky Trofeo tyres, while the rear end was sporting dirty water spots which had gathered from the long drive home and although these unsightly contaminants certainly gave me plenty to get to grips with I had a couple of product-related tricks up my sleeve I was confident would help me return the Cup back to starting line condition.
The first sleight of hand came courtesy of a bottle of Mothers R3 Racing Rubber Remover conjured from my bag of tricks to hopefully make all the nasty black scuff marks currently contaminating the exterior vanish for good.
In order to first test it’s might I sprayed it over a few of the worst affected areas before any other cleaning products were applied to the car and let it sit for a moment before gauging whether or not it was actually going to do anything.
While it did appear capable of breaking down the rubber one issue I foresaw is that many of the unsightly scuffs were contaminating the PPF wrapped panels which was great news for the fresh paintwork underneath but not so much for me as the similar composition of the gummy film and the rubber inflicting it meant it was going to require some serious elbow grease to break the bond between the two.
Either way I now knew the R3 Racing Rubber Remover could at least shift the bulk of it and so before going on to ‘de-rubberize’ the rest of the car went ahead with snow foaming it to lift off any loose dirt which would prevent it from being unnecessarily ground into the paintwork.
Using Auto Finesses’ citrusy smelling Avalanche and a Heavy Duty Foam lance I covered the Cup from head to toe in summery snow and let it soak into the various aerodynamic details of the car before thoroughly rinsing it off with the pressure washer.
Once pre-cleaned I then began reapplying the rubber remover to the affected areas working it in with a microfibre towel or two and as I hoped they would the unsightly scuffs quickly disappeared from any unprotected parts leaving the more deeply contaminated shrink-wrapped panels to be attended to more thoroughly with another product later on.
Having removed as much of the surface rubber as possible with the Mothers product it was onto the next stage of decontamination using Autosmart’s Red 7 to dissolve any metal-based contaminants the car had attracted during its time on track.
It was liberally applied to the top half of the car via a colour-coded pressurised pump sprayer and left to sit for a few moments to work its magic.
As you can see there wasn’t a huge amount of ferrous contamination but the potent product did manage to track down and dissolve whatever light levels there were turning purple in the process to indicate a chemical reaction was occurring.
Once bleeding and before it had time to dry on the surface the fallout remover was then thoroughly rinsed off leaving the car with an additional level of clean before being contact washed.
Prior to that though the lightweight multi-spoke wheels were attended to and despite not appearing too dirty in their satin black getup they were still given a good going over in the usual manner to ensure they were as clean and contaminant free as possible. Unsurprisingly Autosmart’s alkaline-based Smart Wheels was used for the job as well as a trio of soft bristled brushes, a synthetic wash mitt and some straight-up suds.
With the Lotus now finally ready for contact cleaning I seized a sample sachet of Duragloss 901 Car Wash Concentrate that had arrived with another Duragloss item I planned to use subsequently and squeezed the cherry scented product into one of two wash buckets before frothing it up and filling the other with fresh rinse water.
Making use of a quality Gyeon Smoothie mitt I featured in a previous white car washing video I proceeded to clean the car from top to bottom employing the standard two-bucket technique as although much of it was either unlacqered or wrapped with film there were still unprotected parts which could easily be inflicted with the dreaded swirls.
The matt black panels were washed and rinsed off a section at a time in order to reduce any unsightly water spotting as these finishes are far more prone to showing it than the more traditionally clear coated parts which in contrast were rinsed off once they’d been washed back-to-back.
A diluted all purpose cleaner was spritzed over the front end to help break down the insect massacre inflicting it and with it being protected with the transparent film I could safely give it a good scrub with the microfibre mitt without having to worry about swirl marks or marring being inflicted.
Once all areas had been massaged with the mitt the car was given another rinse off to prepare it for the final stage of decontamination.
A clay towel was chosen to help gently dislodge any remaining foreign bodies from the paintwork post-wash as despite being a real mess to begin with it wasn’t actually too heavily contaminated with bonded dirt and so didn’t require a dedicated clay bar being drawn over the surface.
The Cup was sprayed with a detailer to further lubricate it and once the rubberised towel had been sufficiently soaked in a bucket of suds it was lightly worked over each painted section to thoroughly prepare the car for cleansing.
While in my experience clay towels don’t do quite as thorough job as clay bars they’re slightly less aggressive on the paintwork and save some time as they cover a larger surface area and on a car like this that isn’t usually neglected they represent the perfect pick for light decontamination duties.
It’s a pretty simple and self explanatory procedure just instead of folding and kneading as you would with a clay bar, the towel is simply re-soaked in a bucket of suds and wrung out before being transferred onto the next panel.
The only real consideration here was the edges of the paint protection film, draw the towel across and it can embed unsightly rubber residue or even serve to lift them so if you have or are working on a partially PPF’d car you need to remain conscious of where the edges lie before you clay away.
Once all areas had been tackled with the rubber towel it was time for the fourth and final rinse down to remove any stray dirt particles, dislodged contaminants and lingering product residue.
Decontamination complete it was finally time to dry the car off with a trusty blue fluffy microfibre. Again nothing fancy, just a top to bottom buff over with the absorbent towel to rid it of all the rinse water.
This of course included the chunky door shuts of the Exige as you wouldn’t want any hidden water spilling out onto the freshly dried body but it also freshens them up somewhat so they don’t appear neglected and overlooked in comparison.
Next up was to finish off each of the four corners. With this essentially being a racing car I didn’t want to give the sticky track tyres an unnaturally glossy look so went with a satin creme dressing from Auto Finesse which gave a sensible finish that I think matched the satin multi-spoke wheels perfectly.
The final undertaking of the day was to simultaneously enhance and protect the paintwork using this rather iffy looking ‘Track Claw’ all in one from Duragloss but with it boldly claiming faster lap times with reduced drag coefficient from a single application how could I possibly resist?!
It was squeezed onto a clean tri-foam applicator pad and first dabbed over any remaining rubber scuffs and once buffed over its light cleaning abilities lifted them off with ease.
I steadily worked my way around the body of the Exige with the polish spreading, working and buffing a panel at a time although this is a pretty versatile product in that regardless of the conditions it can safely be applied to the entire car in one go.
It was relatively easy to work with, smelled pleasant enough, buffed off with no drama and in that sense was similar to another favourite cleanser of mine Dodo Juice Lime Prime although this had the added benefit of a synthetic fluoropolymer sealant not to mention of course the ability to make your car go faster!
Once all painted panels had been adequately ‘clawed’ at with the polish I quickly coated the matt black ones off camera with some of the owner’s Swissvax Opaque before wrapping things up.
With this being a frequently ran track car the aim wasn’t to beautify it to perfection as it’s only going to get battered again soon but to simply remove as much of the unsightly track-based contamination as possible and return it to a respectable and roadworthy state.
Paint protection film will always prevent a proper finish from being achieved as you’re basically polishing a layer of plastic yet this is the trade off between not having to worry about your pride and joy being chipped or scratched. Any remaining spots that may have resembled dirt were in fact small nicks in the film that could only be remedied with re-wrapping. Again, this is exactly what it’s there for though and if you favour physical protection like this you have to be prepared to temporarily overlook these superficial imperfections.
Despite a lack of proper sunlight at this stage in the day and with no deep dark colours to capture on camera, the Monaco White paintwork still looked a whole lot better for it’s decontamination and once over with the Track Claw although we’ll have to take Duraglosses word for it on faster lap times for now!
The vast majority of the unsightly rubber scuffs had now been eliminated and if you hadn’t seen the state of the car previously I doubt you’d know they were ever there.
The kamikaze bugs littering the front end had been respectfully laid to rest in the gravel below leaving behind a now ledgible license plate while the satin black wheels and freshly dressed satin finished tyres looked clean yet still menacing enough.
There was of course allot more I could and would have liked to have done to the car but with the sun setting and a long drive home into the night that had to do for the 345 BHP British brute.